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Rhett Akins

Friday Night in Dixie – 2002 (Audium)

Reviewed by Tom Netherland

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CDs by Rhett Akins

Missed opportunities mark Rhett Akins' latest. Though given 14 songs, he instead joins Nashville's disturbing number of coulda-beens with an offering that's just not that country.

For example, besides saying an awful lot of nothing, the set's opening "Highway Surprise" fails where it could have succeeded. It features a banjo and fiddle and steel, but they're effectiveness is washed aside with pounding drums and Akins' bland vocals. Now, that doesn't waylay what promise that exists here His Southern-rocking duet with Charlie Daniels on the title track at least shows Akins can muster a decent performance. Problem is, though, when he ostensibly tries his hand at what passes for country ("She Was"), he fails miserably.

Though he sings that "no one ever got the best of me" on "She Was," Akins' story here is just the opposite. What better explanation exists for such piffle as the soaked-in-sap "In Your Love" or the simply stupid "You Rock Me"? Akins could have done better.