Ronnie Milsap

Country Again

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Don’t take the title of Ronnie Milsap’s 2011 studio album as a manifesto: Country Again may be following on the heels of a collection of gospel but Ronnie never abandoned country. This, his first secular effort since 2006’s My Life, lacks the sheen and snap of that major-label purported comeback, but part of the charm of Country Again is its ragged edges, such as the bizarre title track story of a redneck who turns his pickup into a time machine and travels into the future to discover they’re playing country music again. Its narrative may not scan but its novelty is as appealing as the record’s casual diversity, how Milsap winds up touching upon many of his signature styles: a bit of country-soul, a lot of smooth crooning, some hard country to balance the soft rock flirtations, all punctuated by ‘50s rock & roll throwbacks. Milsap’s voice is certainly a little rougher than it used to be but he still knows how to slyly sell a song and he’s got a strong batch of material, all elements that make Country Again quite satisfying.

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