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Tracy Lawrence

Lessons Learned – 2000 (Atlantic)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Tracy Lawrence

Tracy Lawrence doesn't wait a minute to confront his recent troubled past where he was seemingly found more often on the police blotter than the silver platter. "The Holes That He Dug," which Lawrence had a hand in writing, finds the father telling his son to stay the course and admonishes the son: "You better lose that attitude if you wanna get somewhere." Learning from the sages is also the subject of the first single and title track.

Certainly give credit to Lawrence for addressing his past. As he said in his liner notes, "The music...is very personal." But there is far more to this somewhat breezy, but certainly country album. Lawrence's voice remains strong with lots of twang to it. He's easy to listen to ("The Man I was"), though he can toughen it up ("Lonely"). And while many albums seem filled with weak material, that is not the case here where Lawrence keeps it country while not overtly sounding commercial on generally mid-tempo songs. That means a lot of fiddle from Rob Hajacos and steel from Sonny Garrish with neither sounding tacked on.

With this return to the silver platter, the past ought to seem far behind.