Sweethearts of the Rodeo

Beautiful Lies

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Sneaking through the herd of slick, contemporary country artists who are basically singing pop (if not for the occasional fiddle or pedal steel) must not be an easy task. But every now and then comes the rare traditionalist with a twang and a swagger and a bucket full of heartache to sing about. Enter Sweethearts of the Rodeo. They are country even when (or if) country isn't cool. And thank goodness. Because even legendary stalwart Dolly Parton tiptoes over to the bluegrass side of the pasture half the time. Not these gals. With harmonies galore, they sing and sing. And they aren't separatists either, tossing in covers of Donovan's "Catch the Wind" and Bob Dylan's "One More Night." They work because those tunes hold that simple, heartfelt beauty -- missing in so many of Nashville's hitmakers -- that is the essence of good country music. Beautiful Lies is a decent little record. Nothing terribly earth-shattering, but that's just fine.

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