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Daryle Singletary

Ain't It the Truth – 1998 (Giant)

Reviewed by Walter Allread

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Kickstart Country Standard Time to Nashville

CDs by Daryle Singletary

"Amen Kind of Love" showed Daryle Singletary's gospel influences, but the first single, "The Note" is a near religious experience for classic-country fans. The release similarly distills the best elements of classic and modern country. "That's Where You're Wrong," for instance, has rock guitar, pulsing bass, big drums and an even bigger chorus, but Singletary and his rich baritone keep the focus on the lyric's emotional content."I'd Live for You," penned by Dewayne "Friends in Low Places" Blackwell, skirts lowest-common denominator buffoonery, but should please fans of Singletary's "Too Much Fun." It's offset by "Miracle in the Making," a delicate duet with wife Kerry. Delbert McClinton's "My Baby's Lovin'" becomes a country-funk hybrid featuring Larry Franklin's flowing fiddle and Singletary's easy-going vocal.

Like "The Note," "You Ain't Heard Nothing Yet" is a classic-style melodrama, about a lonely old man warning a young dad against craving solitude. An update of Jerry Reed's "A Thing Called Love," once a hit for Jimmy Dean, recalls "Big, Bad John," Dean's hit about giant felled by love, while avoiding big, bad hokeyness.

Singletary co-wrote two set-closers, "The Real Deal," a sprightly shuffle about true love in a phony world, and the title track, an homage to classic-country icons. He goes a bit overboard in the latter, assuming membership in the same club as Jones, Haggard and Frizzell. Singletary's not that classic - not just yet anyway.