Contemporary country singer Charlie Major had a string of number one records in his native Canada during the '90s. Then with a U.S. deal and an eye toward breaking into Nashville, Major released 444. Nevertheless, despite a strong batch of performances and guest appearances by folks like Joy Lynn White and Cowboy Junkie Margo Timmins, Major presents a conundrum for Music City. His tunes have a lot of polish, but not that extra bump of pomp and saccharine needed to succeed in mainstream country. Conversely, he's not quite "alternative" or "insurgent" enough to find any elbow room in the No Depression camp (as Patty Loveless, a one-time hit machine, and Kelly Willis, a would-be Young Lion in the early '90s on MCA, have). Major writes strong, cosmopolitan country tunes with lots of heartfelt appeal, however. And highlights such as "Right Here, Right Now" and "Why Don't We Stay Home Tonight" show why he has had such great success in his homeland (where popular country music has a much more catholic reach). The album also includes a stirring take on Bob Dylan's "Oh, Sister."
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AllMusic Review by Erik Hage