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Tanya Tucker

Complicated – 1997 (Capitol Nashville)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Tanya Tucker

Tanya Tucker's latest is not that complicated. This is , in fact, a disc from an artists maturing quite gracefully. Tucker's biggest problem in recent albums was that she tended to be so gravelly and affected, it became grating. Not here. There's an earthiness to her vocals previously missing. The lead-off "Ridin' Out the Heartache" finds her wringing the emotion out of the words without overdoing it. She shows tenderness on "By the Way" where she sings "By the way/I know it's not easy/For You to say I'm the one."

And she gets sassy on "Love Thing," a bluesy number co-written by Delbert McClinton and featuring muscular, but not overstated slide from Pat Buchanan. Perhaps the highlight is "I Don't Believe That's How You Feel," a light Tex-Mex ditty penned by Harlan Howard and Kostas. It's very different from the rest of the disc musically. In fact, it is indicative of Tucker's ability to mix it up and change the pace throughout.

Give producer Gregg Brown much credit for a guiding Tucker in the right direction. Tucker keeps it simple lyrically, singing on matters of the heart in all 11 well-picked songs. This may not be complicated, but it does find Tucker in fine form.