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Shane Minor

Shane Minor – 1999 (Mercury)

Reviewed by Jon Weisberger

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CDs by Shane Minor

Shane Minor has an interesting background - serious high school rodeo riding, five years with the LAPD - and his PR material mentions a fondness for Merle Haggard, Hank Williams and Faron Young, but you can't tell any of that from his debut; it's about as generic as a radio-oriented country album can get.

Producer Dann Huff's liner notes "thank you" to Shania Twain producer Mutt Lange says "I've learned so much from you," but what he learned seems not to have included anything about taking risks or creating a distinctive sound. Minor has a pleasant enough voice, and his name appears as a co-writer on the best song ("A Girl Like That"), but there's little here to stick in a listener's mind, and even less that's identifiably country. Paul Franklin (steel guitar) and Aubrey Haynie (fiddle) do their best to put some country touches here and there, but the relentlessly pop nature of the material and the arrangements overwhelm those efforts.

Indeed, the most distinctive thing about the album is its length; 4 of the 11 songs clock in at over four minutes, unusual for country. Sad to say, that's about the only unusual - or even interesting - thing about this release.