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John Anderson

Easy Money – 2007 (Warner)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by John Anderson

Though John Anderson hasn't impacted the country charts since the mid-'90s, his return to Warner finds the Nashville veteran in fine form. Anderson is most impressive on ballads such as "A Woman Knows," the first single, "Bonnie Blue," co-written by Anderson with Cowboy Troy, and "I Can't Make Her Cry Anymore," co-written by Anderson with producer John Rich (Big and Rich) and Shannon Lawson.

The highlight is "Willie's Guitar," an amusing tearjerker that compares the hole in Willie Nelson's guitar with "the one you've worn through my heart," in which Anderson is joined on vocals by Nelson (who also plays his old guitar) and Merle Haggard.

Other standout tracks are the rollicking "Brown Liquor," something of a parody of George Jones' "White Lightning," and the honky tonker "Something To Drink About" (not to be confused with Jones' similarly titled "I'll Give You Something To Drink About").

Elsewhere up-tempo tunes, such as the title track and "Funky Country," suffer from over production, but even on these songs Anderson's strong vocals keep it interesting.

There may not be another "Swingin'" or "Straight Tequila Night," here but this successful comeback shows Anderson is still one of the best pure country singers around.