Radney Foster

See What You Want to See

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For Radney Foster, country music stopped reaping dividends after his second solo album, Labor of Love. Although it had its moments, it sounded a little tired, compared to his work with Bill Lloyd and his debut Del Rio, Texas, 1959. Sensing that the time was right for a change, Foster made a pop move with his third record, See What You Want to See. Where his former partner decided to return to his power-pop roots, thereby confining himself to a niche audience, Foster decided to shoot for a larger audience, redefining his music as rootsy, adult pop. The presence of Emmylou Harris, Abra Moore, Darius Rucker and Patrice Pike of Sister 7 telegraphs Foster's intentions -- he still has a bit of a twang, but this is classy, mature pop music, not contemporary country. By and large, his gambit works. At times, See What You Want to See sounds a little bit too mannered and considered, which means the hooks never quite take off, but it all sounds pleasant, and the best moments -- "Folding Money," "Angry Heart," "I'm In" -- showcase him at his best as a songwriter while successfully delivering a fresh, updated sound. It may not feel as weighty as Del Rio, Texas, but in its own way, it's every bit as successful and introspective as that album, while occasionally matching Foster & Lloyd at their best.

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