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Tammy Cochran

Tammy Cochran – 2000 (Sony/Epic)

Reviewed by Bill Silvers

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CDs by Tammy Cochran

Tammy Cochran is an extraordinary singer. Despite inconsistent material on her self-titled debut, she transcends the formulaic limitations of some of the songs with a determination and depth of feeling that's hard to resist.

At her best, she merits comparison to singers like Ray Price, Barbara Mandrell and Loretta Lynn, among her childhood models. The first song, "I Cry," sets the tone, with her expressive voice giving extra weight to the song, a defiantly upbeat bit of country-pop. The knockout blow is delivered with the second song, "If You Can," a gripping ballad that is not only the best song on the record, but among the most emotionally affective songs in recent memory. In the hands of a lesser talent this song could seem overblown, but Cochran sings with such conviction that it works beautifully.

Indifferent songs aside, two of the best remaining songs are co-written by her, most notably the finale "Angels Are Waiting," written as a tribute to her two older brothers, who both died in their early adulthood from cystic fibrosis.