Cledus T. Judd

Cledus Envy

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Either Cledus T. Judd is getting better at writing his musical parodies of country hits or country music itself is getting sillier and more deserving of satire, but this is the funniest of his six albums. The standout tracks are "Breath," a rewrite of Faith Hill's overly sensitive hit "Breathe" that changes the subject to halitosis ("I can feel you breathe" becomes "I can smell your breath"), and "My Voice," a skewering of Billy Gilman's sanctimonious "One Voice" that shows what will happen when the pint-sized singer's voice inevitably starts to change. It isn't only Judd's comic lyrics that make these tracks work, but also the playing that makes fun of the original arrangements, such as the piano on "My Voice" that indulges in all kinds of foolish embellishments and the hip-hop effects on "Man of Constant Borrow" which add to the takeoff on the traditional "Man of Constant Sorrow" from O Brother, Where Are Thou?. Judd doesn't always rewrite other people's hits -- "Let's Burn One" is an original tune about music downloading, while "If George Strait Starts Dancin'" is another new song about over-production on country awards shows -- but the parodies provide the best moments. The album is so good it even survives a big downturn in quality on the last three tracks, "Just Another Day in Parodies" (the title of his last album), in which Judd laments the difficulty in getting people to let him write parodies of their songs; "Leave You Laughin'," a sentimental and serious statement of purpose; and the jingoistic "Don't Mess With America." These tracks are worthless, but the first nine are keepers, and that's a good percentage on a comedy album. [Initial copies are packaged with a bonus DVD containing a video of "Breath."]

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 18:35 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick