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Michael Peterson

Michael Peterson – 1997 (Warner)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Michael Peterson

With the opening footsteps, door opening and twangy start, you'd think Michael Peterson would be offering something differnt. But then he laces into the opener, "Lost in the Shuffle." It's pretty typical of the remaining 10 songs. He sounds like a Ronnie Dunn wannabe amidst a catchy, uptempo tune. There's some nice fiddle and piano playing, although the country vibe certainly has a souped up sound.

The disc contains any number of other catchy songs ("Drink, Swear, Steal & Lie," recalling Billy Dean), but ultimately the Washingtonian fails to put his own stamp on the outing. Peterson just places too much of an emphasis on the uptempo and catchy (the thumping drums of "Love's Great"). There's some good wordplay ("I Finally Passed the Bar," a drinking song on which Peterson duets with Travis Tritt, who clearly overwhelms him), but too many lyrics border on being too overtly cutesy. And Peterson doesn't give much indication of having lived the material.

The overall effect is this just leaves the listener walking away, looking for another more intersting and unique musical door to open.