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Randy Travis

Passing Through – 2004 (Word/Curb/Warner)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Randy Travis

Randy Travis' latest stands out for a couple of reasons. First off, although it's once again distributed by Word Records (a Christian label), it's hardly what you might call an evangelical endeavor. Instead, these songs tell distinctly moral stories. A good example of the moral tone is "That Was Us," which follows a few ruffian young men that eventually grow up to be upstanding citizens.

Other lyrical standouts include "Angels," where Travis informs skeptics that if you want to see an angel, just look into your mother's eyes. Lastly, "A Place to Hang My Hat," which also includes the album's title line, speaks about how this world is just a temporary residence for the faithful.

On the down side, these songs don't give Travis nearly enough opportunities to showcase his naturally beautiful singing voice. Only on "Poor Old Heart," which has an upbeat and spunky George Jones feel, can Travis' voice be heard dipping down low, then yelping nicely in the higher places. This is not to say that Travis doesn't sing well here; he just doesn't consistently thrill in his usual way. Overall, though, "Passing Through" offers fine instances of Randy Travis' well-established country star self, along with toned down examples of his newly-found gospel persona.