Dickey Lee

Everybody Loves a Winner

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Despite this album's title, it seems to be the last full album Dickey Lee concocted. Those with little patience for the dregs of country music would say good riddance, not noticing some of the lovely high notes the man can hit. Lee's era of country was the early '80s, a time that can hardly be accused of being all hat and no cowboy. There's no hat at all, as a matter of fact, and no cowboy either. The star appears front and back in polo shirts and a makeup artist gets a credit, the resulting appearance bringing to mind a pinched-in Joe Namath. The latter fellow could never hit high notes with the accuracy of Lee, however, not even in the midst of a violent tackle, not even the night he was prodded in the ribs by the nightstick of a Tuscaloosa, AL, sheriff. The second mention of vocal range might suggest there isn't a whole lot going on here, and that certainly is true. A lengthy list of session musicians is here, but the best even-seasoned ears might notice is the distinctive sound of Gene Chrisman's snare drum and one of the unique appearances of Dennis Good, an actual session trombonist in this genre. The songs, in a word, are horrible, a word a good critic should save for stuff that is, well, truly horrible. "Honky Tonk Hearts" is the wimpiest song ever written with "honky tonk" in the title, yet by the time it comes up, the listener might still be recovering from the nausea of a Beatles rip-off hidden within a Bread rip-off. Haters of the commercialized, Nashville-typical, circa 2003 sound might be advised to look back at this, a typical production of its time, and keep their nostalgia in check. Here, we have many fine session men, seasoned producer Jerry Kennedy, and even a mastering facility named after Hank Williams, all in service of music that has about as much to do with country & western as an album of Christmas carols.

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