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Kris Tyler

What a Woman Knows – 1998 (Rising Tide)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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CDs by Kris Tyler

The only note that does not ring true on this impressive debut is the title itself. If every woman knew what Kris Tyler knows then country music would be in a lot healthier shape. Tyler knows how to write; 10 out of the 11 tunes were written or co-written by the native Nebraskan, and "Kind of Like California" where she compares her resilience in the face of mud slides of the heart to the tenacious spirit of Golden State residents, and the enigmatically titled "She's Only a Cowboy When it Rains" are as good or better than anything you'll hear coming off Music City Row this year.

Tyler knows how to make a song come alive too; the title song (about women's ability to tell when a man is lying) will work its way into your soul while "Here's Me" and "Rockin' Horse" will set even the laziest toes to tapping. She knows how to pick producers too - Emory Gordy, Jr. and Tony Brown worked with her here. It's a little too early to name the album of the year, but not too soon to start thinking about it.