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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Marty Robbins

The Legend / Come Back to Me

Review by Gary Hill

This is one of a new set of discs featuring two classic albums on one CD. It doesn’t take much imagination to know why Marty Robbins has been as popular as he has. Just listen to his voice. The man is a very talented singer. Additionally, he’s capable of a lot of different musical styles. For my money a lot of this set still feels reasonably fresh today. There are only a few songs that don’t work all that well. This is really a great set. It’s sure to please Robbins’ long time fans. For the rest of us, it makes a great introduction.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Jumper Cable Man

There’s a real high energy blues sound to this. Harmonica adds to that reference. This is a great tune and a great way to start this whole set off. It’s the kind of thing that still holds up well today.

Lady, I Love You
More or less a ballad, this gets powered up a bit at times. For me the string arrangement at times seems a little cheesy. It’s a good cut, though, despite that.
It's Not Too Hard
Now, here we’ve got an old time country tune. Some of the guitar later in the piece is a bit more modern, but overall this is a down home country ballad that seems like it could have come out in the 1930s.
Good Hearted Woman
Another that’s more of an old-time country tune, this falls into the energized hoe-down variety. It’s got a really healthy dosage of gospel music in the mix, too. The guitar work on this one is noteworthy and the song has a lot of energy. Some Latin horns later and some spoken bits serve as nice touches. There are even some hints of funk at points in the later sections of the tune.
The Air That I Breathe
I always thought this song was written by the Hollies. It turns out that it was a cover for them, just as it’s a cover song here. I really like this version a lot, although probably not as much as that rendition. It’s got enough rock in the mix along with plenty of country. The song as delivered here has several varied musical concepts and it works really well.
My All Time High
More of a traditional country ballad, I find some of the arrangement here a bit over the top. Still, it’s reasonably effective.
Honeycomb
Bouncy folk and country merge on this number. It’s very old school in nature. It’s catchy, too.
Simple Little Love Song
Another traditional country ballad, this is quite a strong piece. It feels a bit like something Elvis Presley might have done. It’s got some great slide guitar and the arrangement really doesn’t seem to get over the top like some do.
I’m Here To Get My Baby Out Of Jail
Harmonica adds a nice touch to this slow bluesy number.
Teardrops In My Heart
Here’s a slow cowboy ballad.
Some Memories Just Won't Die
This ballad really does seem to me like it might have been something Elvis Presley would have done on the 1970s. It’s definitely more of an adult contemporary tune than it is country. The arrangement is a little cheesy at times, but it’s a good cut nonetheless.
It's Not All Over
This ballad is pretty sad. It’s got plenty of country in the mix, but it’s another that’s arguably more adult contemporary music.
The American Dream
Now, here’s a tune that feels like Jimmy Buffett. It's got that tropical beach vibe to it.
Here Your Memory Comes Again
Here’s another mellow ballad that’s quite adult contemporary in style. The string arrangement somehow works pretty well on this.
The First Song That Wasn't the Blues
A mid-tempo country tune, this is fun.
Prayin' For Rain
This is more like 1970s soft rock. It’s one of the best tunes of the whole set.
That's All She Wrote
This ballad is more typical country music. It’s good stuff, but not all that special.
Tie Your Dreams to Mine
More energetic, this is all country. It’s also a classy tune.
If Her Blue Eyes Don't Get You
Another country ballad, this one is very old school in texture. It’s slow and pretty, but not all that special.
Lover, Lover
There is a bit of a Latin vibe to this tune. Overall, though, it’s an adult contemporary styled ballad. It’s also very pretty and one of the best songs here. I like this one a lot and it’s a great to end the set on a high note.
 
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