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Travis Tritt

Strong Enough – 2002 (Columbia)

Reviewed by Rick Bell

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CDs by Travis Tritt

Considering the climate in country music these days of getting back to everyone's roots, Travis Tritt has done just that with his latest release. No, not getting back to country music's roots, as much of Nashville seems to be enamored with these days. Tritt crosses no new boundaries, attempts no forays into uncharted waters. Tritt mines what's got him to where he is - his most trusted elements as a country music artist - a hard-nosed Southern rocker with an indignant, bluesy attitude who can turn on the tender ballad when need be.

The title cut that also happens to be a response to a 1993 Sheryl Crow song of the same name, walks familiar territory for Tritt. He teams on songwriting chores with old pal Marty Stuart on "I Can't Seem to Get Over You," a tribute to the late Waylon Jennings. And he revisits old stomping grounds on the "T-R-O-U-B-L-E"-esque "Time to Get Crazy," while the opening cut "You Can't Count Me Out" has a "Modern Day Bonnie & Clyde" ring to it.

"I Don't Want to Make Her Feel That Way Again" is wrought with emotion, muchlike his signature ballad "Anymore." All the songs here are written, sung and played with tremendous conviction. Yet listening to it over and over, there's a sort of emptiness, kind of like a fast-food burger. It sure fills you up, but was it really that good?

And perhaps that's what's most troubling about this album. As country music re-examines itself, Tritt delivers the $6 burger for only $3.99. There's nothing wrong with it, but a little spice here and there sure wouldn't have hurt.