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Neal McCoy

That's Life – 2005 (903 Music)

Reviewed by Michael Sudhalter

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CDs by Neal McCoy

Neal McCoy debuts on his own label, and the energetic performer breaks little new ground on an album filled with ballads and novelty songs. The Texan collaborates with everyone from Gen. Tommy Franks, who gives a recitation before "Last of a Dying Breed" to the singer's mentor, Charley Pride, on the classic "You're My Jamaica."

The album ranges from the poignant in "That's a Picture" and "Jessie" to the downright silly single "Billy's Got His Beer Goggles On" and "Tail on the Tailgate." McCoy scores big with traditional country music fans with a song - "Head South" - that he admits doesn't fit in with the rest of the tracks.

If only McCoy could skip the sappy love songs and silly novelty tunes and record 14 songs like "Head South." McCoy ends the album by throwing a bone to his fan base - a live version of "Hillbilly Rap" - a longtime staple in his concerts.