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John Anderson

Takin' the Country Back – 1997 (Mercury)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

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CDs by John Anderson

Very few country performers have the staying power that John Anderson does. He's been cutting hit records since the mid-1970s. Through the years he's remained true to his sound. This record, his label debut, is no different. The best tunes include the title cut, the up-tempo, dance floor friendly, "Jump On It," "Somebody Slap Me," the record's first single, co-written by Anderson and his 80-year old father, and the slower, more sensitive, "Who's Who," "Sara" and "I Used to Love Her."

The only disappointment is his cover of Van Morrison's pop classic, "Brown Eyed Girl." It's too much like the original, which may help it score with country radio. Anderson, who possess one of the most unmistakable voices in all of country, sounds as good as ever here. He has an edge and an authenticity in his baritone that today's country crooners can only hope to emulate. At a time when there are so many generic singers on the scene, Anderson's style and sound still stand out.