Gary Allan

It Would Be You

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Gary Allan's sophomore effort shows considerable growth since the release of his 1996 debut project, Used Heart for Sale, which seemingly filed away Allan's sharp honky tonk edge. This time out, the project suffers from over-production and some material that reflects the soft pop fluff manufactured and sold as country music by Factory Music City. Allan is not a pop singer nor a soft rock balladeer, and these schlocky, country radio-ready tunes do not enhance his position as a traditionalist nor do they show him in the best light. There are also moments when Allan sounds too much like fellow honky tonker Mark Chesnutt for his own good. Chalk this up to the Nashville production style. Yet, this is a danger the native Californian will hopefully be able to sidestep in the future, since his musical vision has always been firmly rooted in the work of George Jones, Buck Owens, Ernest Tubb, and Merle Haggard. These influences are evident in his cover of Conway Twitty's "She Loves Me, She Don't Love You" and the Marty Stuart/Kostas co-write "Don't Leave Her Lonely Too Long." Just as listenable are "I've Got a Quarter in My Pocket," "Red Lips, Blue Eyes, Little White Lies," and the only tune on the project that Allan had a hand in writing, "Baby I Will." Sadly, Allan suffers in the face of the marketing blitz that surrounds his young career. Too often the artist is lost in the product and the artist's true potential is never realized. In this case, only time will tell.

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