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Lee Ann Womack

Lee Ann Womack – 1997 (Decca)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Lee Ann Womack

Traditional sounds of yesteryear come out of the box on the lead-off song and hit single "Never Again, Again" with Lee Ann Womack showcaisng a heart-on-my sleeve, winsome quality. And that is the beatuty of this album. Her voice is upfront, offering a series of tearjerkers about the perils of love ("Am I The Only Thing That You've Done Wrong").

A duet with Mark Chesnutt ("Make Memories With Me ") works particularly well though Chesnutt is mixed a tad low. The Cajun sound of "Trouble's Here" is bright sounding with Larry Franklin's fiddle adding spice. Producer Mark Wright smartly kept the sound spare with fiddle and pedal often coming through loud and clear. But on the flip side are several uptempoo songs, which belie the traditional sound. Womack sounds like she's covering Mindy McCready ("A Man With 18 Wheels," a trucking song killed by heavyhanded drumming) instead of letting her own voice shine.

Despite the occasional miscue, this hits the target most of the time. Womack mines music of a past era and makes it sound fresh. Again.