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Clay Walker

Say No More – 2001 (Giant)

Reviewed by Mike Clark

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CDs by Clay Walker

The temptation is to say Clay Walker has shown little growth over seven CDs, but that isn't true. He's grown - in the wrong direction. Walker's first few CDs promised a fine country career similar to those of Mark Chesnutt and Tracy Byrd, his Beaumont brethren. Now, like Lonestar, he's rushing headlong into the pop abyss.

Country fans should program this in reverse, though the final cut, "So Much More" (written by Walker in high school) contains more sap than the government should allow. "Texas Swing" is a tribute to the Bob Wills tradition (which Walker proved capable of pulling off on Asleep at the Wheel's "Ride With Bob"); "Rough Around the Edges" would have fit nicely on one of his first CDs; and "She's Easy to Hold" is a pure country weeper. And while "La Bamba" isn't the most inspired choice to continue Walker's streak of party songs, it isn't awful. The rest are mediocre at best, full of bad lyrics and overwrought production clich+s from the ubiquitous Byron Gallimore, Brent Mason, Blake Mevis and Walker.

Neither pop nor country, this is easily Walker's least satisfying CD. "Say No More" indeed.