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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Dave and Sugar

Greatest Hits / New York Wine & Tennessee Shine

Review by Gary Hill

This is a "two albums on one CD" reissue from Dave and Sugar. I don't really remember this act. Their sound is unique, though. I mean, the whole merging of pop and country music has been a big deal in recent times, but this seems to be something from the beginnings of that trend. Often times this act sounds like a country version of Abba, but that's just one of the angles here. This does feel a bit dated, and I'm not blown away by all of it, but it has its merits.
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Track by Track Review
Greatest Hits

It's a Heartache

There is a definite Dolly Parton sound to some of this. The modern (at the time) country textures work pretty well here. It sounds a bit dated today, but the vocal arrangement works well.

Queen of the Silver Dollar
Percussion with vocals starts this. The cut makes me think of what Abba might have done if they were country. This is a balladic tune that works pretty well.
Tear Time
This is very much an old school country ballad.
Golden Tears
Although this comes in with more of that pop music sound, it works out to full on old school country. It's another ballad and has a strong vocal arrangement.
The Door Is Always Open
More of a mid-tempo piece, the hooks on this are particularly catchy. This has a nice mix of pop and old school country sounds.
Don't Throw It All Away
Here we have another that's a balladic cut. It's more along the lines of the old school country sounds, but there are some pop elements at play, too.
Gotta Quit Lookin' at You Baby
More of an energetic cut, this does a good job of blending the pop and country elements.
Baby Take Your Coat Off
This is another tune that makes me think of a country version of Abba. I like the harmonica and other traditional country elements here.
I'm Knee Deep in Loving You
An energetic, bouncy kind of country meets pop tune, this is fun stuff.
My World Begins and Ends with You
The balladic cut goes a bit over the top on the strings and syrup. It's too precious. If I were to skip a song here, this would definitely be it.
Can't Help But Wonder
A balladic tune, this is particularly strong. The mix of classic country and more pop oriented stuff works especially wrong here.
New York Wine & Tennessee Shine

New York Wine & Tennessee Shine

Lyrically, this is kind of like the concept of the old TV series "Green Acres." The sound is more of a mid-tempo country meets rock tune. This is classy stuff. I love the alternation of male and female vocals here.

You (Make Me Wonder Why)
This one is more of a merging of the pop and country sides of the coin. It is a bit of a "miss," though. I mean, it's not bad, but it's just a bit goofy.
Make Believe It's Your First Time
This ballad is another that's a bit on the precious side, but it's better than "My World Begins and Ends with You."
Things to Do (Without You)
Bouncy and mid-tempoed, this is a fun number. It's another with a bit of that Abba kind of thing at play.
This is very much set in a pop styled sound. It's definitely got some country in the mix, but it's probably closer to something Olivia Newton John would do.
Delta Queen
Another that's very much a pop song with a bit of country edge, this is fun, but not all that spectacular.
It Ain't Easy Lovin' Me
More of an energized number, this is solid.
Learnin' to Feel Love Again
This ballad is actually one of the best cuts here. Perhaps it's more on the pop side of the equation, but it's so strong.
Just a Whole Lotta Love
More bouncy and fun, there is almost an equal helping of soulful pop music and country in the vocal performance. The music, though, is more purely pop oriented. The combination works quite well.
A Love Song
This song shows another effective merging of the pop and country elements. It's somehow not as good as a tune, though. It just doesn't reach out and grab the listener as well as some of the others do.
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