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Kevin Sharp

Love Is – 1998 (Asylum)

Reviewed by Tom Netherland

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CDs by Kevin Sharp

In view of his winning battle versus cancer, one might think that Kevin Sharp would have quite a slew of meaty stories to tell. On his sophomore release, however, Sharp sings pleasantly enough, but he has very little voice.

Alas, Sharp co-wrote but one song, "Still Love," a typically bland pop song that adds a steel and fiddle and calls itself country. Thanks in part to producers Chris Farren and David Foster - and Sharp himself, country is but a marketing category. Cotton candy tunes such as "Typical," "Kiss The Girl," and "I'm Trying" lie dead center in the bullseye of what's wrong with so-called contemporary country music. They aren't. Nashville, and artists such as Sharp, are trying to tell they are. Hank Williams would cringe.

Not that Sharp's music is necessarily bad music, because it isn't; it's simply not country. Sugar-coated adult contemporary tunes "What Other Man" (with Neal McCoy) and "We Can Get Through This," are at least listenable. Still, country music was built on tunes that gnawed at the soul. These don't even nibble.