Jim Ed Brown

The Essential Jim Ed Brown & the Browns

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Since this set features none of Brown's duets with Cornelius, it must be assumed that there is a compilation in the works based solely on that aspect of his career. As for this set, it opens with three mellow Jim and Maxine Brown hits, including the 1956 smash "Looking Back to See." There are four songs by the Browns, including the dreamy ballad "Send Me the Pillow You Dream On." The remainder of the album is devoted to Brown's solo material. While he was smooth, Brown could lay down a good honky tonk, too, as on "Pop a Top," "Southern Loving," and "Barroom Pals and Goodtime Gals." Also included is his slick, finger-popping read of "You Can Have Her." "Bottle, Bottle" is an ode to drinking his pain away: "You give me the strength to go on day to day/You help keep the memories of a lost love away." After calling it his crutch, he asks, "Bottle, bottle why do I love you so much?" There are also plenty of pretty love ballads to go around, such as "Gently Comes Love" and "You're the Part of Me."

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