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What This Country Needs

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Album Review

For those who always thought Aaron Tippin was wasting that fantastic voice on his many trademark, but somewhat contrived "working-man" anthems, What This Country Needs is the first confirmation of his true potential for greatness. This record, his first after leaving RCA, surpasses his previous work in nearly every respect. His voice is even more sublime than before, sometimes even achieving the extraordinary richness of '70s-era Waylon Jennings. What really make this album a whole different animal, though, are the songs. Tippin's finest moments have always been his heart-on-the-sleeve ballads, like "I Promised You the World" (from 1994's Call of the Wild). There are several excellent tunes in that vein here, particularly the lump-in-the-throat-prompting "I'm Leaving," but even the up-tempo material always smartly avoids the common new-country problem of emphasizing clever turns of phrase over emotional content. The album's production, although replete with honky tonk steel guitars and fiddles, is thoroughly modern without being cheesy. Some songs even sound a little like the best work of the Eagles, except with a truly kick-ass real country singer. Whether it was increased artistic control (Tippin co-produced the album), a new label, or perhaps the birth of his child, something apparently lit a serious fire under Aaron Tippin, as this album stands head and shoulders above anything he recorded prior. Accessible, yet substantial and moving, What This Country Needs is that rare record that should appeal to mainstream country and alt-country lovers alike.

Customer Reviews

What the Country Needs!

Aaron was ahead of his time with this album. Fantastically great album. May be close to 10 years old but WOW what a piece of work.

What This Country Needs

Absolutely great album! "For You I Will" is a beautiful love song along with many others.


Born: July 3, 1958 in Pensacola, FL

Genre: Country

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Aaron Tippin was part of the commercial explosion of new traditionalist country in the early '90s, making his name with a mixture of macho, rowdy honky tonkers, sentimental ballads, and patriotic working-man's anthems. Tippin was born in Pensacola, Florida, in 1958 and grew up mostly on a family farm near Greer, South Carolina, where he first started singing to pass the time while doing chores. He started playing guitar at age ten but also inherited a love of flying from his father, who'd worked...
Full Bio
What This Country Needs, Aaron Tippin
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Customer Ratings