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Katrina Elam

Katrina Elam – 2004 (Universal South)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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CDs by Katrina Elam

With the confidence of a Reba McEntire and the youthful spark of Leann Rimes, Katrina Elam's debut wants badly to be an impressive beginning for the 20-year-old Oklahoman. Producer Jimmy Lee Sloas is best known for his extensive work in the Contemporary Christian genre with Switchfoot, PFR and others. As a frequent co-writer with Elam, he was called in to guide these sessions.

The result is a slick, but not overproduced disc that puts Elam's voice up front and center on a slate of mostly predictable country songs, many of which she had a hand in writing. Sloas' connections yield contributions from Gordon Kennedy and Wayne Kirkpatrick-"Prelude To A Kiss," from the former; the laughably generic, "I Want A Cowboy" and "Drop Dead Gorgeous," from the latter) while familiar Nashville names like Marcus Hummon and Dave Berg also show up in the credits.

Elam has a few good moments, like the McEntire-like ballad, "The Breakup Song," and Hummon's energetic opener, "Strong Anything," but ultimately this a good, not great, start for her.