David Allan Coe

Just Divorced

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Just Divorced was released in 1984 when David Allan Coe was edging toward "legend" status, meaning he was about to be kicked off the radio charts altogether to make room for Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, and the next generation of Nashville hitmakers. It was produced by Billy Sherrill. Just Divorced features one of Coe's greatest vocal performances in his reading of Johnny Cunningham's "Mona Lisa's Lost Her Smile" and netted him a bona fide hit. The layered strings and organ work are slick, but they add such warmth and depth in contrast to Coe's voice that it works to devastating effect. Coe wrote over half the record, and his own tunes work best on the rest -- "He's Taking It Hard (She's Taking It Easy)," "Sweet Angeline," the stunning third part to "For Lovers Only," and "Thief in My Bedroom" round out the "Down" side of the disc. Coe's "Just Divorced" and "It's Great to Be Single Again" sound a little disingenuous coming from the emotional weight of the first half, but they're fine songs nonetheless. The album closes with a soul tune, believe it or not. Jerry Butler's fantastic "For Your Precious Love" is carried off convincingly as a country song -- complete with first-person confessional as an intro.

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