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Randy Travis

You and You Alone – 1998 (DreamWorks Nashville)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Randy Travis

In this hot new country era, the man who started bringing country to the fore a decade ago, Randy Travis, is trying to see if he still has a place. Thankfully, Travis doesn't mimick the contemporary sounds where country has gone pop with heavy handed drumming and lots of electric guitar and makes you wonder what went wrong. He generally remains tried and true to his roots dishing out ballads with his usual great vocal phrasing ("One Word Song"). Travis doesn't rush through the songs, delivering them in a passionate, understated singing style (title track).

The lone misstep is ""I Did My Part," too souped up and radio friendly with chugging power drumming throughout. He quickly recovers, however, with "Horse Called Music," a spare acoustic-based song and the more upbeat "I'm Still Here, You're Still Gone," sparked by mandolin and acoustic guitar and pretty backing vocals. The latter could have easily fallen prey to HNC sounds, but Travis has none of that. He mixes it up with a Texas honky tonker "Stranger In My Mirror."

Travis did country a great service once in the eighties. Based on the quality of this label debut, he is primed to rescue it again in the ninties.