Cyndi Thomson

My World

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At 24, Cyndi Thomson's deepest country music influence is current diva Trisha Yearwood, who herself was only a third-generation pop-country singer who transcended the genre's limitations with a rich voice and killer songs. But Thomson's youth shouldn't be held against her. For in the field of curtain-shirted rock & roll wannabes and Brooks & Dunn clones and Shania Twain-esque glamor queens who couldn't sing a lick if there weren't pitch levelers in recording studios, Thomson is a rarity. As a singer she posses a genuine slippery, smoky alto that reaches deep inside the heart for the lyric rather than in the trembling upper registers of her instrument. She has the songs too, given that her producer and co-writer is none other than Tommy James. Lastly, she's a country singer first and a pop singer second. My World will, hopefully, lay claim to a slot on the country chart near the top, which would mean there was hope for Nash Vegas (not a lot, but a smidge anyway -- which is more than there is now). Sure, there are the requisite fiddles on her record, but there are also banjos and flat-picked guitars, as well as recorders, Hammond B-3s (as on the single "What I Really Meant to Say"). The single is clearly meant to put the album in the hands and minds (not like they really have them, but we'll give them the benefit of the doubt on this set) of country music radio station programmers. Once said single charts, the label digs into the disc for further material, hopefully to the title track or "Hope You're Doing Fine," with its ringing mandolin and pedal steel whine. Ultimately, My World has some concessions to the pop market: it's slickly produced; there are some taut, pop sheeny arrangements and a few drum machines here and there. But compared to the absolute crap being cranked out of Nash Vegas, this is a bona fide country record in the same tradition as Thomson's mentor Yearwood. And there are a lot lower sights (especially now) to set your eyes on.

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