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Cledus T. Judd

A Six Pack of Judd – 2003 (Monument/Sony)

Reviewed by Ken Burke

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CDs by Cledus T. Judd

Cledus T. Judd eschews his normal Junior Samples-on-helium vocals for this subtler, still amusing collection of country parodies. The shock here isn't that Judd is funny without squawking through his nose, it's that he possesses an appealing singing voice that embraces the tone of the songs he satirizes.

Judd's six-song budget-priced set boasts country icon George Jones' guest appearance on "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Pop," a wonderfully snarky and resonant remake of Barbara Mandrell's 1981 hit "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool." More often, the jokes come at his expense la the redneck revelry of "My Crowd" (a comic deflation of Montgomery Gentry's pompous anthem "My Town") or his clueless dad persona in "Where's Your Mommy," (a truly catchy send-up of Toby Keith's "Who's Your Daddy?").

Many comedians let their underlying sadness leak through and Judd is no exception. Although his "270 Something" (a weight-conscious rewiring of Mark Wills' "19 Somethin'"), revels in junk food and pop culture references, the health risks the formerly rotund artist faced were very real. This revealing glimpse along with the comfortable upgrading of his singing chops, serves to enhance Judd's comedy, enabling the set to garner fresh chuckles during each listening.