Sign up for newsletter
 

David Lee Murphy

We Can't All Be Angels – 1997 (MCA)

Reviewed by Eric Zehnbauer

Subscribe to Country CD Reviews CD Reviews

CDs by David Lee Murphy

Here's a mystery: Why hasn't David Lee Murphy emerged as one of the biggest stars of the newer country generation? That's one that continues to be a puzzle. Murphy's third and latest further showcases his considerable talent.

Murphy's a rarity among the new generation of country stars, in that he either wrote or co-wrote all the songs on the album, as well as being associate producer. And quite a talented songwriter he proves to be. He also stays truer to his country roots than the rest of the pack, which seem to be rushing headlong away from country towards adult pop/contemporary. Some rock more than others, yet the country influence shines through. Murphy understands that one of the things that makes country music country is a healthy dose of twang. The moaning steel guitar of Paul Franklin is allowed to stand out, instead of being buried beneath pounding drums and electric guitars. Producer Tony Brown used a lineup of session aces to provide a well-mixed and balanced sound.

The title track especially stands out as a great country song, with its prominent steel, subdued beat, and the favorite country theme of good ole boys breaking the rules. Country fans will also enjoy ballads such as "Velvet Lies" and "Almost Like Being There" and the honky-tonker "Bringin' Her Back." "She's Not Mine," with its spooky-sounding crying guitar track mixed with tasty Hammond organ, is deserving of hit status as well. This album should elevate Murphy to the top tier of country artists.