Gerald Collier

Gerald Collier

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AllMusic Review by

If there's one thing to say about Gerald Collier, it's that he has an uncanny knack for getting under the skin to tweak at the heartstrings. With an impassioned delivery and taut sense of timing, Collier is certainly one of the most overlooked vocalists of the 1990s -- and this follow-up to 1996's well-received I Had to Laugh Like Hell is no exception. Less acoustic than its predecessor, Gerald Collier takes similar themes, but cranks up the intensity to create a delicious balance -- angst with edge and sorrow through sound. These songs are solid and singalongable too; from the gorgeous "Dark Days" to the fatly packed "Fearless" there's a little emotional wrench for everybody. Where Collier finds both its faults and strengths, however, is across the tracks that were tucked into this new album from the old. It's a bit of a cheat to have to hear last year's news again, but the songsmith had a few tricks up his sleeve, and to his credit didn't just stick them on again. All were re-recorded -- twisted, then imbued with fresh passion. "Whored out Again" becomes a fast-paced rocker, while "Forgiveness From Revenge" and "God Never Lived in My Neighborhood" blend into medley. It's another triumph for Collier -- a straight jab to the most basic of emotions, as love, loss, anger, and despair take center stage and stick in the shadows -- a true three-hanky moment.

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