Neal McCoy

The Luckiest Man in the World

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The Luckiest Man in the World Review

by Robert L. Doerschuk

With barely a nod to "Wink" and his other riff-happy hits, McCoy fills this album with quality material and digs into it with some of his finest singing to date. Aside from one novelty number, the goofball romp "Elvis in the Airport," these are straightforward songs, most of them adorned with melodies and chord changes any singer would adore. The title cut, an affirmation of virtues taken for granted, is especially dramatic, with a soaring chorus that can't help but ignite stage lights and pull audiences up to their feet. Eloquent lyrics abound, from a meditation on the familial admixture of love and hate in "All at the Same Time" to a moving examination of love lost in "Never Got to Say" -- and "Put Your Best Dress On" qualifies as one of the finest romantic ballads in years. There are less-solemn moments too, but these -- the simplistic ditty "Sing" and a boot-scoot throwaway called "Honky-Tonk Mona Lisa" -- are the weakest links in an otherwise strong chain of songs. The last title, "I'm Your Biggest Fan," deserves special mention: Recorded live at Nashville's annual Fan Fair, it is quite simply the warmest expression on record of an artist's gratitude to his fans. Listen to it and you're guaranteed to feel better about yourself.

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