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Kellie Coffey

When You Like Next to Me – 2002 (RCA)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Kellie Coffey

Is Kellie Coffey the reincarnation of the still quite vibrant Sara Evans? Vocally, Coffey is exceedingly close to a dead-on cover of Evans. In fact, when Coffey sings "At the End of the Day," you'd almost think Evans was the one singing it.

Now that's not such a bad thing, especially since Coffey/Evans have strong, full-bodied voices. Coffey can infuse a song, like the hit title track, with the requisite emotion without sounding overwrought most of the time. "What It's Like to Be Me" is obviously her big full throttle ballad.

But the problem also is Coffey, who was a background singer for Barbra Streisand's Milennium show in Vegas, doesn't seem to really find her own voice. She had a hand in writing 4 of the 11 songs here. While the sound tends to be upbeat and bright, Coffey doesn't seem to scope out her own musical territory.

This is an album that recalls other singers - females - as well. Like many female country singers today, she veers often over the line into pop masquerading as country. Just like the recent version of Sara Evans.