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Randy Travis

A Man Ain't Made of Stone – 1999 (DreamWorks Nashville)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Randy Travis

Randy Travis has always possessed one of country's greatest voices. Smooth with enough emotion and range to be commanding.

There is not a whole lot different on his latest. His voice fortunately is still intact. The songs are good enough - far better than recent efforts - which is enough to let his vocals shine.

And he does that time and again, moving between relaxed ballads where an understated emotion pours though ("Day One") to far more vocally forceful songs, like "Once You've Heard the Truth" and the title track. "The Bible and The Farmers Almanac," unfortunately, is too snappy with the drums and electric guitars turned up too high.

The low point is "I'll Be Right Here Loving You" with mentions of "Communism, terrorism, Darwinism, religion" and other such incredibly silly strings of non-sequiturs. The twangy tune is good, but the words are the death knell.Less is more would have served Travis better musically with production a bit too slick, but whatever Travis' voice is made of, it works.