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George Jones

Jones Country / You've Still Got a Place in My Heart

Review by Gary Hill

A disc that’s part of a series of old style country music reissues, this one (like the rest in the series) features two classic albums on one CD. For my money the first disc of the two is the better album. That’s not really about the individual songs, but more about the pacing. While the first album changes quite a bit from song to song, the second disc lingers on the ballad side, too much. That makes it a little monolithic in nature. Still, taken as a whole, this is a good album and worth having.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Radio Lover

Fairly slow moving and rather mellow sounds, not all that country in nature, serve as the backdrop. Jones’ vocals at the start are spoken. That holds the tune for a time. Then he starts singing and the arrangement gets filled out. When it drops down to mellower music, for more spoken lyrics, slide guitar brings the country sounds to the fore.

Dream On
This is still not extremely fast, but it’s got more energy than the opener did. It’s got a lot more pure country from the start, too. The chorus is accessible and it’s a classy tune.
Hello Trouble

There’s a lot more energy on this swinging tune. I love the ultra-deep backing vocals on this. The slide guitar is great, too. There is definitely a bit of a rockabilly vibe here.

Burning Bridges

This country ballad is a classy tune. I like the piano playing on the number. The chorus hook is strong, too.

Wino the Clown

Another ballad, this is sad, but a pretty song.

You Must Have Walked Across My Mind Again

More uptempo, this is a classic country song with a great vocal hook. It’s also got some cool guitar playing.

I'd Rather Die Young (Than Grow Old Without You)
A slower country song from the more bluesy side of the spectrum, this is tasty.
The Girl At The End Of The Bar

You have to love any song that starts with “If you’ve ever been drinkin’” This is a slow country tune that’s got some great slide guitar. The vocals and the story are both among the best here. In fact, I think I like this better than just about anything else on the disc.

One Of These Days (But Not Tonight)

This is more of a stomper. It’s got a great energy to it. It’s a fun tune. There’s a real honky tonk feeling to this one.

Famous Last Words
A slow country ballad, this is a good tune. The vocals seem to really steal the show here.
You've Still Got A Place In My Heart

Another slow one, the arrangement at times feels a little overdone on this. That said, the piano dominated section is a nice touch. So is the harmonica solo.

From Strangers, To Lovers, To Friends

The song lyrics here are classy. The thing is, the tempo for the last several tunes has been pretty close. That makes them all seem to blend together a little. This manages to stand tall despite that.

The Second Time Around

Another slow, balladic tune, this one suffers from the similar tempo quite a bit. The harmonica, though, helps to redeem it.

Come Sundown

Here’s yet another slow tune. The slide guitar helps to keep this one classy, but it definitely is hurt by the fact that the tempo is staying the same here. It does get an infusion of energy near the end that helps.

Even the Bad Times Are Good

Well, the tempo changes a little. This is even slower. It’s down home country balladeer music.

I'm Ragged But I'm Right

This is an energetic and playful tune. It’s definitely a needed boost in the arm. It’s a fun number.

Courtin' In the Rain

Here’s a mid-tempo tune with some spoken vocals. This is down-home and fun. It’s quirky and one of the best here. It’s a playful song.

Loveshine

Here’s more of an energetic rockabilly type tune. It’s got some great guitar and some tasty harmonica.

Your Lying Blue Eyes

This one takes us back into the slower moving territory. After the last few tunes, though, it works much better. This is a good country ballad. It’s perhaps not the most effective one here, but it is quite good.

Learning To Do Without Me

The closing tune is another slow one. I’m not sure that was the best choice, but it’ pretty effective.

 
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