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Keith Harling

Write It In Stone – 1998 (MCA)

Reviewed by Eric Zehnbauer

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CDs by Keith Harling

Keith Harling describes his music as "a very old sound...that is a little more hip," and that's a pretty apt description. Although, it also makes his debut a bit confusing. While a good effort overall, one wonders who Keith Harling is trying to be?

While he has a great voice and wrote or co-wrote over half the songs, his style is hard to pin down. He sounds a lot like Toby Keith on several cuts, but while not a bad thing, does country really need a Keith soundalike? Also, the disc leads off with one of the weakest tracks, the single "Papa Bear."

But Harling gets warmed up on "Right In the Middle," a very danceable uptempo number, then really shows where his strength lies when he does a stellar remake of Lefty Frizzell's "I Never Go Around Mirrors." He also displays a knack for humor with the hilarious "There Goes The Neighborhood," about having neighbors setting a bad (or good?) example. There' are several more good tunes penned by Harling ("Walking Away," "Three Words Away") along with several weaker filler songs. A good debut, which hints at greater things.