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Pieces of My Life

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Album Review

It is often the case, when an artist consistently records for a small independent label rather than one of the majors, especially in a genre like country music, that the artist employs a musical style out of the mainstream. Maybe his/her approach is too traditional for contemporary Nashville, or maybe it is too eclectic. This is not the case, however, with Mitchell John. From his white cowboy hat to his rich, twangy baritone, the Montana-based singer is the epitome of what straight-down-the-middle country music has been about for decades. Pieces of My Life, his sixth album, could be played alongside discs by George Strait, Alan Jackson, and Tim McGraw and sound a lot like them. Granted, John doesn't have the top Nashville tunesmiths at his beck and call so he must make do with less-striking material and some covers. And while Pieces of My Life was recorded in Nashville, he doesn't have access to the top session musicians and studios that would give his recordings a sharp, radio-ready sound. But this is still country music in its most fashionable form, circa 2003. If John has any drawbacks that keep him away from Nashville stardom, they may lie in his age (not that he is old, by any means, but he is not 22) and his wholesomeness; even without a record company publicity blitz, he seems a bit well scrubbed. And that may really be the problem. Pieces of My Life is a good, workman-like effort from a talented artist who is, nevertheless, a little dull. Technically, he sings the songs well, but they tend to be wordy story-songs that he renders rather than really selling, and that keeps them from coming across as effectively as they might. And maybe that means he lacks one other element that his more successful competitors have: a producer to help him choose material and shape his performances better. But the talent is there.

Pieces of My Life, Mitchell John
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Country, Music
  • Released: Jan 01, 2000

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