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Record Review


Good country music is usually a function of two significant components -- the sound of the singer's voice and the quality of the songwriting. With his newest release, Nobody's Got it All, 20-plus year industry veteran John Anderson presents a fine showcase for both. His rough-hewn vocal style has been Anderson's trademark throughout his up-and-down career, and the song selection indicates a lot of thought was put into each selection.

It is ironic that Anderson's career (like so many others) was kick-started by a novelty song ("Swingin") that could have buried him. He was able to push past the stigma with a consistent output of good work and he has maintained a strong sense of who he is and what he does best.

Nowadays, it seems about half of the country songs played on the radio are novelties, so when Anderson released his first single from Nobody's Got it All, he selected the witty Dennis Linde-penned "The Big Revival." It's a great song, but probably not a great choice for today's vanilla radio. For some reason, lyrics like "praise the Lord and pass me a Copperhead" just don't fit in with the current "She Loves My Tractor" mentality.

Nevertheless, the album is a keeper, with fine tunes by Chris Knight ("It Ain't Easy Being Me"), Bruce Springsteen ("Atlantic City") and several of Anderson's originals. He sounds as good as ever, and there is a subtle but obvious integrity that comes through on every track. Now, that's country.

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