Crystal Gayle

20 Love Songs

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AllMusic Review by

If we're to be honest in assessing the career of Crystal Gayle, one of the most gifted and disciplined vocalists of country music's golden era, what could be more desirable on a compilation from her than love songs? EMI (in the U.K. at least) gets it. What is wildly evident here is how Gayle possessed a voice utterly suited for the pop marketplace -- check her rendition of "Cry Me a River" -- and used the very best elements of Chet Atkins' "countrypolitain" formula to translate it to mainstream country and crossover from there. Her beautiful alto never strained for notes, was comfortable in its range, and her phrasing is impeccable no matter what song she chooses to sing. Of course her biggest hit, "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" is here, but so are less well known gems such as her reading of Johnny Cash's "I Still Miss Someone," as well as "Going Down Slow," the shimmering soulful pop tune "I Wanna Come Back to You," and many others. There isn't a dud in the set, and Gayle's voice is at its very best on this material. Sound quality on this CD is exceptional and the price tag makes it a very appealing buy.

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