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Life Is Good – 1995 (Capitol Nashville)

Reviewed by Chuck Hamilton

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CDs by Emilio

Tejano Emilio's first country album appears to take a page from the late Selena's playbook: introduce yourself to English-speaking fans and still keep your long-time followers happy. The San Antonio native comes to the table with the gift of a voice distinctive enough to have gotten him a music scholarship. The voice is a definite cut above of other cookie cutter cowboys. Unfortunately, he has to work with arrangements so bland and uninspired, the performances must have been phoned in. A few cuts do shine, the hit single "It's Not the End of the World" and "I Was There," but this should be a much better album than it is. Particularly grating here is the crass commercialism. The album title as well as the title of one of the cuts may sound familiar. It should; it's an ad slogan for Miller beer, one of Emilio's corporate sponsors. Obviously Emilio has both the voice and talent to cross over into country music, but is he serious or is this just another case of "Gone Country"? Unfortunately, this album makes a stronger argument for the latter.