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Neal Coty

Legacy – 2001 (Mercury)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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CDs by Neal Coty

Mainstream Nashville's idea of an edgy country act, Neal Coty's second disc is nonetheless more focused on mainstream country sounds than his debut. Coty's biggest problem is that he sounds too much like others and not himself. The opening cut, "Right Down Through The Middle Of Us," is vintage Steve Earle "South Texas Night," conjures up Joe Ely. The Aerosmith-style overblown chorus of "Breathin'," and the trite lyrics of the title track could each be any current male country star from Tim McGraw to Lonestar.

"Sad Eyes," a Bruce Springsteen song recorded last year by Latin pop star Enrique Iglesias, is also given the overdone Michael Bolton treatment, ruining a fine song with a histrionic performance. One bright spot is Coty's take on Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky." An inspired cover given a lean arrangement that plays to Coty's twangier tendencies, it is also his best performance on the disc.

As an artist and writer, Coty is obviously trying to be different, but he needs to escape his influences first.