Bobbie Cryner

Girl of Your Dreams

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When Bobbie Cryner introduced her sultry voice in 1993, critics lined up to commend her. In a field where most performers come sweet and innocent, whether they are or not, Cryner wasn't afraid to drip an adult sensuality. She doesn't exploit her inherent sexuality, but she doesn't attempt to hide her obvious carnality, either. Unfortunately, her debut proved too distinctive for the conformists who run country radio and never got a fair shake. Girl of Your Dreams is another strong offering by the bold redhead. She opens with Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man," a gutsy move that works. No one else in country music would put across the line, "being good ain't always easy," with such believable forwardness; rather than apologizing, she sounds like she's celebrating her lack of virtue. She employs the same stunning directness when she asks, in another song, "If you want me to stay/just say so." Elsewhere, she confronts her own weaknesses while finding the inner fortitude to overcome them ("I Didn't Know My Own Strength"), and, in the album's most unusual song ("You'd Think He'd Know Me Better"), takes on the role of a mean-spirited spouse who treats her husband with dismissive spite then wonders why he's cheating on her. Cryner sounds too good to ignore and her rare qualities are her greatest strengths.

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