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Various Artists

NASCAR Hotter Than Asphalt 1996 Season – 1996 (Columbia)

Reviewed by Dan Kuchar

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The 1996 sequel to 1995's "NASCAR Runnin' Wide Open" project contains performances by Mark Collie, Joe Diffie, Waylon Jennings, Alabama, Tracy Lawrence, Ricochet, Tanya Tucker, Little Texas, Hank Williams Jr., Killer Beaz and the new generation Lynyrd Skynyrd band. All songs have auto racing as a common theme and favor Southern rock over country musically. Overall, the songs and the performances on "Hotter Than Asphalt" are mediocre offerings that would not make it on to these artists' regular releases. Most, especially Waylon Jennings' "I Can Run With The Big Dogs" sound as if they were thrown together with very little effort. Even NASCAR maven Tanya Tucker's offering "Goin' Nowhere and Gettin' There Fast" is a shallow version of her regular fare. However, there are some bright spots. Mark Collie's "Love to Burn" is a good enough song to stand on its own, and Alabama's "Sunday Drive" really cooks with some blazing guitar work. Unless you love the subject matter, "NASCAR Hotter Than Asphalt" definitely hits the wall.