Ronnie Milsap

Night Things

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Night Things is an appropriate title for Ronnie Milsap's fourth LP for RCA, since this ten-track collection from 1975 carries the distinct mood of a late-night album. But where most late-night country albums are built for solitary listening, this is a romantic record, where even songs about separation and being no good at goodbyes are better for slow dances than for crying in your beer. On that level, Night Things would seem to offer further proof that Milsap simply plays nothing but slick, commercial pop, but the opposite is true. While there are a couple of bright, catchy items here, including the bouncy title track, along with a few sweeping strings, this is his purest country album yet, since most of the songs are given relatively spare production (there is only one truly corny moment, thanks to the backing vocals and canned synths on the classic "I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)") and Milsap's singing is impassioned and convincing. Plus, there's a consistency in the songs: "(After Sweet Memories) Play Born to Lose Again" and "Who'll Turn Out the Lights (In Your World Tonight)" constitute a terrific one-two opener, and the rest of the album follows through on its promise, thanks to songs like "Just in Case," "Remember to Remind Me (I'm Leaving)," and a fine version of Conway Twitty's "(Lying Here With) Linda on My Mind." All this pushes Night Things to the forefront of Milsap's catalog.

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