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Ronnie Milsap

Inside – 1999 (Buddha)

Reviewed by Tom Netherland

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CDs by Ronnie Milsap

Don't let the perky music fool you. Ronnie Milsap's 1982 album is rife with songs of separation and love lost.

Lyrically, its 10 tracks tour traditional country's themes as well as any. Whether written by Burt Bacharach ("Any Day Now"), Mike Reid ("Inside") or Country Music Hall of Fame member Harlan Howard's "You Took Her Off My Hands (Now Take Her Off My Mind)," Milsap's hit album hits pretty low.

But a scant listen to such tracks as "He Got You" and contemporary country sounds filtered with strings, snyths and such is striking. Milsap made a name for himself in the mid-'70's with hard country tunes like "Pure Love." But with success, his style changed to fit a more pop sound.

Milsap's music helped usher to the forefront New Country sounds. A direct descendent of the 1960's Nashville Sound, "Inside" was just one in a line of hard country killing vehicles that did so in a dastardly way - with great songs. Hard to argue with that.