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Tracy Lawrence

Tracy Lawrence – 2001 (Atlantic)

Reviewed by Scott Homewood

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CDs by Tracy Lawrence

Like most recording artists who change labels hoping to change fortunes (whether by choice or not), Tracy Lawrence hopes to signal a "rebirth" of sorts with this self-titled release, seemingly hoping he can get a fresh start. Unlike most recording artists, country or otherwise, Lawrence manages to pull it off.

Always a great vocalist with enough country twang in his voice and heartfelt sentiment in his phrasing to convey a personal stake in the songs he chooses, whether he writes them himself or not, Lawrence seems to mean what he sings. A rarity in the current mainstream country field, for sure. He has always been for tradition as well. Instead of putting just enough fiddle and steel guitar on his recordings and burying them just to say they were on there, Lawrence's music sounds as if he is just taking an old-fashioned sound and gently modernizing it instead of playing to the crossover crowd with fuzzed out guitars and reworked rock licks.

Whether he gets another hit run or not, Lawrence always seems genuine and, ultimately, that's all fans of well-done country music really want. Lawrence succeeds here, and platinum sales or not, this is quite possibly his best album. Rebirth complete!