Brooks & Dunn


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Brooks & Dunn get a lot of mileage out of two potent personalities. Ronnie Dunn's expressive voice, underrated even with the band's huge success, and Kix Brooks' energized stage presence gave their otherwise routine material enough of a spin to earn them their status as country music's leading duet team of the 1990s. With Borderline, their fourth and weakest album, they have to strain a bit too hard to give their songs weight. The primary exception is an outstanding cover of B.W. Stevenson's 1972 pop hit "My Maria," which Dunn elevates with an outstanding vocal performance that puts him in a league with the Mavericks' Raul Malo. Other than a powerful ballad or two and an entertaining novelty number about a wife bluntly persuading her man that they are going out on the town that night, too much of Borderline relies on country clich├ęs and formulaic arrangements. These two failed to make an artistic statement that went beyond light entertainment.

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