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Mindy McCready

If I Don't Stay the Night – 1997 (RCA)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Mindy McCready

Mindy McCready does not suffer from the sophomore jinx. In fact, despite CD photos emphasizing the singer's sexiness, the real stregnth is her supple voice, which is in fine form throughout the 11 songs, expressing vulnerability, tension and strength. Of course, producer David Malloy is scared to record a true country disc, giving the disc a souped up, unneeded HNC sound ("What If I Do" with its heavy-handed drumming. Ditto for the surging "The Other Side of This Kiss"), but at least this qualifies as country unlike some other recent pop discs masquerading as country thanks to marketers.

McCready does a credible, on-target job of covering the Linda Ronstadt hit "Long, Long Time" and Kim Richey's "You'll Never Know," although she fails to surpass the originals in part due to too much sheen on the former.

Lyrically, McCready is no stand-by-your man type. "What If I Do" finds a woman uncertain what to do with her man sexually. On "This is Me," she belts out "This is me/take it or leave it.../what you see is what I am," while acknowledging her imperfections. Not the lovey-dovey pap afflicting some HNC. If McCready manages to keep her head on straight, she could have a long career. Especially if they bother to let her sing country songs.