Sammy Kershaw

I Want My Money Back

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After about a decade, Sammy Kershaw parted ways with Mercury Nashville after his 1999 album Maybe Not Tonight, resurfacing four years later on Audium/Koch with I Want My Money Back. A switch to an independent at this stage of the game pretty much takes Kershaw out of the running for the charts, but he thanks God in the liner notes "for giving me another chance to do what I love to do so much," so chances are, his eyes aren't on the charts anyway. Kershaw also calls it the best album he's done to date, and he very well might be right, because I Want My Money Back boasts a strong set of songs and performances that make it one of his most satisfying efforts. Part of the reason that this works is the fact that he isn't concerned about hits -- there are no Leo Sayer covers, in other words -- and with producer Richard Landis, he has picked a fine set of songs that highlight Kershaw's country roots. Not that this is an unadulterated honky tonk record; there are plenty of songs that are rock-influenced, neo-traditionalist country, which is now firmly part of contemporary country's tradition. But the difference is, there's not a song that feels pop, not a song with a false performance, not a moment that doesn't feel like Kershaw has made the comeback that he's needed for a long time now. It's easily his best since 1993's Haunted Heart.

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