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Aaron Lines

Living Out Loud – 2003 (RCA)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Aaron Lines

Canadian Aaron Lines puts a whole lot of pop into his country music, and his debut snaps and crackles with unbridled enthusiasm. Singing in a voice similar to Phil Vassar's, Lines obviously enjoys living on the bright (and noisy) side of the street.

Lines' songs ride over piano, bass and drums, instead of fiddle and pedal steel for the most part, and they are also happier more times than they are sad. This collection includes quieter devotional odes, such as "Close" (which comes off like one of those big Journey ballads of the '80s) and "Can't Live Without Your Love." It also finds room for semi-rocking rave-ups, as exemplified by "Love Changes Everything" and "Turn It Up (I Like The Sound Of That)."

While it's hard to argue with Lines' admirable positive attitudes-in-song, these all start to add up to just so many empty platitudes after a while. He names artists like Alabama and Bryan Adams as musical influences, and his brand of country music is about as forgettable as is much of the faceless music from these inspirations. Instead of living out loud, it sure would have been more rewarding to hear just a little more quiet inner revelation.