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Pam Tillis

Every Time – 1998 (Arista)

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

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CDs by Pam Tillis

Pam Tillis has one of the most interesting voices in today's country music. She could sing any piece of sludge and still be at least tolerable. Unfortunately, her latest tests that last statement far too often. Perhaps it's just coincidence that this is the first of Tillis' albums on which she herself has no writing credits.

Things get off to a dismal start with "I Said A Prayer" (the first single). This bad Sixites girl-group record features a chorus of "Na na na na na na", which should make some people yearn for the days when the genre prided itself on intelligent, adult lyrics. Not to worry though - it's got a good beat, and the kids on Bandstand give it an 85.

The rest of the album is up and down in quality, and heavy on ballads. Tillis was going through a divorce, and the album lacks her usual playfulness. "Whiskey On The Wound" is a good one, and "Hurt Myself" and "A Great Disguise" are decent. Even in its best moments though, Tillis' latest album falls far short of past peaks.