Keith Perry

Keith Perry

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Like many contemporary country albums, Keith Perry's eponymous debut suffers from uneven material (most apparent in the ballads, which tend to drag), but that doesn't mean that it isn't a successful first effort. Perry has a strong voice, halfway between George Jones and Randy Travis, and while he occasionally sounds a little too indebted to his predecessors, he nevertheless turns in engaging performances throughout the album. That's most apparent on the opener "I'm Gonna Hurt Her on the Radio" and the skipping swing of "Love Gets Around," both of which are infused with humor and subtle shading in the phrasing. The album really only bogs down with ballads, which are a little too self-conscious and lack strong melodies. Still, he sings these numbers with passion that illustrates he can do ballads, swing, and rockers with equal aplomb. That's the quality that makes Keith Perry an engaging debut.

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