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Various Artists

Country Strong soundtrack – 2010 (Sony)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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The question everybody's asking about this movie soundtrack is whether or not actress Gwyneth Paltrow can sing country music. She can. But the real fun is provided by the actors and actresses that usually only appear in their own music videos. There are a few fine down home country moments.

Highlights include Lee Ann Womack's 'once a liar, always a liar' song, Liars Lie. It has that straightforward, sawed fiddle groove that just suits Womack's hurt quiver so well. If you're wondering how Ronnie Dunn's coming along post-Brooks & Dunn, wonder no more. His solo honky-tonk performance of She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles) is simply perfect. And although it doesn't fully take advantage of his out-of-this-world, deep Southern drawl, Trace Adkins does just fine on Timing Is Everything.

This soundtrack is, for the most part, mainly quiet and barroom sad. Except, of course, for Hank Williams, Jr.'s drinking anthem, Thirsty. By the way, it's good to hear Faith Hill sing something more like country, as she does with Give in to Me, while her movie star husband sounds just fine singing a duet with Paltrow on Me and Tennessee. And for her part, Paltrow gets on quite fine in Tennessee, musically speaking. In fact, everybody sounds good singing these Tennessee songs, whether they're from around those parts or regions elsewhere.