Gene Watson

Beautiful Country

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The fourth album by this moderately popular honky tonk singer featured some of his most successful singles, including the Top Ten "I Don't Need a Thing at All" and two cuts that just missed the Top Ten, "Cowboys Don't Get Lucky All the Time" and "The Old Man and His Horn." However, while the LP isn't seriously flawed, it's not the best of his work, either, presenting rather matter-of-factly written and arranged '70s country honky tonk, though Watson's vocals are engaging. Most of the songs are low-energy sentimental pieces, though things perk up a little for the happy-go-lucky down-on-my-luck tune "Hey Barnum and Bailey," while "I Knew We Could Never Love for Long" has a brighter, more pop-friendly melody than the other material. Beautiful Country was combined with Watson's second album, Because You Believed in Me, on one CD on the Hux label in 2005.

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