George Jones

George Jones Sings Like the Dickens!

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Given George Jones' love for novelty songs, it isn't surprising that he recorded a tribute album to the king of country novelties, Little Jimmy Dickens. What is surprising is his approach. On George Jones Sings Like the Dickens! Jones bypasses all of Dickens' biggest hits, choosing to concentrate on personal favorites, which happen to be songs that Dickens interpreted, not ones that he wrote (only two of the 12 songs were co-written by Dickens). Jones realizes that although Dickens was famous for his novelties, he was a first-rate balladeer and he patterns his own album according to his idol's strengths. Jones gives a fine performance, but it's a bit too laid-back to make a lasting impression. There are a handful of gems (particularly "We Could," "It Scares Me Half to Death," "Making the Rounds," and "I've Just Got to See You Once More") scattered throughout Sings Like the Dickens! and the album is never anything less than enjoyable, even though nothing on the record approaches the transcendent. ["It Scares Me Half to Death" and "Take Me as I Am (Or Let Me Go)" also appear on The Race Is On.]

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