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CD Review: Clay Walker "She Won't Be Lonely Long"

Oklahoman Published: July 2, 2010

(Curb Records)

Clay Walker is one of those bargain-bin country artists from the 1990s, an artist with a catalog of recognizable songs whose star dissipated when the jeans got less tight and the melodies less memorable. The smooth-singing Texan, whose 1993 debut "What's It to You" rocketed to No. 1, has released his ninth studio album after a three-year hiatus.

The 12-song effort dabbles from the same recipe Walker used to chart platinum albums in the '90s. Walker has an easy and pleasurable voice, and his singing sounds so effortless that he can make a mediocre tune into a good one. The first single and title track took nearly six months to reach the Top 10.

Walker can still sing as well as anyone in Nashville. "Keep Me from Loving You" and the album's best song, "People in Planes," show Walker's range and skill at interpreting interesting word play and challenging melodies. But he is a much better singer than songwriter. The tracks with Walker's writing credits are crippled by cliches ("All American") and just pure lameness ("Summertime Song"). The bonus track and cover of Alabama's "Feels So Right," with guest vocals from Randy Owen, is an interesting choice, and Walker pulls it off.

"She Won't Be Lonely Long" has enough good songs like "People in Planes" (destined to be a No. 1 hit) and a few others to make the album worthwhile. But this won't get Walker back to selling out arenas and hanging platinum records on the wall.

— Ben Scott


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