Various Artists

Nashville Star: The Finalists

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Nashville Star: The Finalists showcases performances from the dozen finalists of USA Network show Nashville Star, country music's answer to American Idol. While the backing provided on each of the performances sounds a bit generic, it does provide a level playing field for the finalists' vocal talents -- or lack thereof. Despite the cookie-cutter nature of the accompaniment, the distinctive personalities of each of the contestants does stand out, from the rich croon of Buddy Jewell on "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" to Natasha Valentine's Patsy Cline-esque delivery of "Your Cheating Heart" to Jamey Garner's rebellious streak on "Two More Bottles of Wine" and Brandon Silveira's playful rendition of "Act Naturally." Miranda Lambert's "Honky Tonk Blues," Amy Chapell's "Son of a Preacher Man," and John Arthur Martinez's "When You Say Nothing at All" are some of the other highlights from this collection, which reveals how strong and distinctive most of contestants' voices actually are; even though only one of them is guaranteed a record deal, several of the singers here would do well with one.

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