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Lila McCann

Complete – 2001 (Asylum)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Lila McCann

People still say storytelling is one of country music's primary selling points. But with its current adulterous embrace of all things pop, the style has sacrificed much of its narrative-loving roots since disposable pop cotton candy is built upon quick verses and repeated choruses, not details. Which brings us to Lila McCann's newest.

McCann has a sweet and strong voice, all but wasted on these unmemorable throwaways. Songs like "Mighty Love" and the single "Come A Little Closer" barely skim the surface of such a complicated subject as romance. It's as if epic novels have been traded for travel brochures, this album of Cliff Notes. This point is especially driven home with "She Remembers Love," which is everything the rest of this album is not. It tells the story of an aging woman (perhaps with Alzheimer's) who may forget names and faces of loved ones, but cannot ever forget her first taste of real love. McCann sings it with experience well beyond her years.

Somebody please remind McCann about the timeless elements of excellent country music the next time she decides to step into a recording studio.