Ricky Van Shelton

Backroads

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When he's not trying to be Roy Orbison (as he did on 1990's RVS 3), it's easy to see that Van Shelton's a fine singer. And this is a fine record -- so fine it's tempting to hunt for signs of listener manipulation. But Van Shelton balances the self-pity of songs like "After the Lights Go Out" with the uptempo punch of stuff like "Call Me Up." So even though Van Shelton recycles "Rockin' Years," the duet from Dolly Parton's Eagle When She Flies, just call it good taste, sit back, and enjoy.

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