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Billy Gilman

Everything And More – 2005 (Image)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Billy Gilman

One imagines that growing out of being a child music star holds difficulties similar to maturing from kid acting roles to adult ones. Billy Gilman is no longer the cute little bug that charmed the country music world with his emotional "One Voice" hit. Wisely, his latest, more mature release, doesn't attempt any radical stylistic advances. Instead, it's more of the same sweet love songs with spiritual overtones that we've come to expect from Gilman.

There's nothing truly exemplary about this CD, yet there isn't anything overly embarrassing, either. "Awaken The Music," however, comes close to making the listener cringe. That's because it's a pseudo operatic song with a pretentious feel, a la Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." Better, by far, is "Looked Into The Wings," which speaks about a guardian angel, and "Pray For Him," which praises the power of prayer.

This CD was produced by Sandy Linzer, who also contributed to writing all of its songs. So Gilman's vision is currently solidly linked with Linzer's. If Gilman masters songwriting, perhaps we'll find out if he's got what it takes to go the distance. But for now, at least, "Everything And More" gives us a little more of that same old(er) Billy.