Leon Russell

Bad Country

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One of many albums Leon Russell released on his own Leon Russell Records in the new millennium, Bad Country bears a copyright of 2003 and contains a selection of 12 original songs by Russell. As the title lightly implies, this is indeed a country album, but it's not bad -- either in its quality or its sound, as the music is perfectly pleasant. There's not a lot of raunch here -- it's a clean, slightly stiff production, sounding as if it has been stitched together with MIDI, as there's no breathing room in the rhythms and a slight steely ping to his keyboards. The only soul here comes from Russell's signature drawl, which is still in good shape, and while the songs here are hardly his best, they're nice showcases for Russell as an endearingly lazy country-rock stylist. To be sure, this is just for the fans -- and it's even kind of marginal on that level -- but if it doesn't have much that's compelling, it's not hard to enjoy in passing, either.

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