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When It All Goes South – 2001 (RCA)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Alabama

After a few decades, the formula remains pretty much intact for Alabama. The music borders on the country light side - peppy, doesn't dig very deep, but often includes a few catchy songs more in the country or southern vein than a lot of their brethren. In fact, the title track re-enforces the band's southern-ness with a name check reference to folks like George Jones and kudzu vines with a proclamation that "one day the south's gonna rise again."

Randy Owens' vocals are out front, and he sings well enough, though not necessarily with any sense of defiance (if the south is going to rise based on his emotion, well, it just doesn't seem very likely).

The material is middle of the road ranging from the sappy "Will You Marry Me," a duet with Canadian singer Jann Arden to songs that say it all "I Can't Hide My Heart" and "I Can't Love You Any Less."

Alabama goes with what it knows. It may not exactly push the envelope, but it's doubtful Alabama's career will go south either.