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Alabama: The Last Stand – 2007 (Cracker Barrel)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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CDs by Alabama

For a band that's supposed to be retired, Alabama has been steadily issuing a string of albums in the past few years, from their two-volume gospel music series to this new live album available only at Cracker Barrel restaurants. Just as similar discs from other country artists such as Alison Krauss and Josh Turner, this collection will appeal mostly to the band's core fan base.

There are some familiar classics, like "Old Flames" and "The Closer You Get," which are improvements on the previous versions due to the lack of the '80s production values that quickly dated the originals. Newer cuts, like "Cheap Seats" and the set-closing tribute to their fans, don't ring as true; their lack of familiarity to all but the true converts renders them less than memorable to anyone else.

Alabama has sold enough records and had enough hits that a live album like this won't hurt or help their already established reputation, but it's hardly necessary for any, but the most diehard fans.