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Craig Morgan

My Kind of Livin' – 2005 (Broken Bow)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Craig Morgan

Craig Morgan certainly has enjoyed a lot more success on a small, indie label than he ever did with the now defunct Atlantic. To his credit, he has a strong voice with a good amount of timbre to it. Morgan's vocals, somewhat reminiscent of Conway Twitty, do a good job in putting the songs across ("I Got You"), many of them story oriented about the simple life ("Lotta Man (In That Little Boy)" and taking responsibility ("Ain't the Way I Wanna Go Out")

While he has a number of quality songs, he also has a few clunkers. "I'm Country" is musically catchy - most of the dozen songs are - but Morgan goes for an easy mark here in pointing to the country life of "corn pickin', cider sipping', fight startin', kid raisin', wife lovin', gun totin', hay balin', pea pickin' country." Not the kind of song that gives Southerners a particularly good name, and such songs sound trite already. "Redneck Yacht Club" mines some of the same territory.

Morgan, who co-produced with Phil O'Donnell, goes for too big and clean a sound too often, though there's a lot of fiddle which brings the music back to its country roots. A lot more grit and musical simplicity would have done Morgan good.But Morgan benefited from enough quality songs and delivery to push his career on the upswing.