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All that's right with modern country and all that's wrong with modern country in one cellophane wrapper. You can't deny the current roster of talented, enthusiastic, and charismatic performers. On the other hand, the omnipresent rock beats and slick production seem to indicate a lack of trust in the talent. As a result, artists with a less-polished approach--BR5-49, Patty Loveless, Lee Roy Parnell--stand apart from the pack. Choosing material in modern Nashville is also a crapshoot, as evidenced by lines such as: "Going through the Big D, I don't mean Dallas / I can't believe what the judge had to tell us / I got the jeep and she got the palace." Or "Joined a cult, joined the Klan, on the road with Pearl Jam / buried with the Grateful Dead, came back as a Parrothead." Of course, this is a danceable party album, so maybe we should take Trace Adkins's advice: "This ain't no thinkin' thing." --Marc Greilsamer
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