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Terri Clark

How I Feel – 1998 (Mercury)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Terri Clark

The title doesn't lie on Clark's third CD. She puts her mouth where her heart is, often singing of the despair of breaking up, something she knows about. This is not a down-in-the-dumps disc, however, with Clark starting off with Kim Richey's "I'm Alright," a fine song which she covers adequately but is not better than the original, and "Now That I Found You."

There's also musical growth as Clark moves beyond her turbo country with a more diverse set. Clark proves she really can sing country on "Cure For the Common Heartache," a ballad and the mid-tempo "This Ole Heart." Clark, fortunately, keeps her vocals in check ("Not Getting Over You"), important considering tendencies to oversing a bit, hold phrases too long and sounding too affected. But she also tends to mimic others, like Mary Chapin Carpenter and Kathy Mattea, instead of forging her own style.

Clark gets poppy with many songs not rising above the generic and barely country ("Now...," "Till I Get There" and "You're Easy on the Eyes"). "Every Time I Cry," is trademark Clark with a catchy beat and enough musical twists and turns. This is an album of growth. Maybe she should call her next set "How I Sound" to hopefully enable her musical style to match her lyrics.