10 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Radney Foster’s 1992 debut is a rarity within modern country music: an album with a lot of kick but absolutely no pretense or theatricality. The plainspoken Foster doesn’t overplay his voice, nor does he assume the macho cowboy affectations that can befall even the most talented of Nashville’s contemporary performers. His debut is full of hooks and climactic choruses—check out “A Fine Line,” “Don’t Say Goodbye," and “Hammer and Nails”—but he avoids bloated deliveries or saccharine veneers. Even in the sweeping, weepy ballad “Easier Said Than Done,” the feeling is drawn from classic country and gospel, not stadium rock. Foster's much more than a neo-traditionalist, but it'd be lying to say that his chrome-plated Bakersfield swing numbers “Just Call Me Lonesome” and “Louisiana Blues” aren’t two of the best songs here. “Old Silver” is a great closer, full of the natural feeling that's so lacking in contemporary country. But the gold star must go to “Closing Time,” an alcoholic hymn for the ages.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Radney Foster’s 1992 debut is a rarity within modern country music: an album with a lot of kick but absolutely no pretense or theatricality. The plainspoken Foster doesn’t overplay his voice, nor does he assume the macho cowboy affectations that can befall even the most talented of Nashville’s contemporary performers. His debut is full of hooks and climactic choruses—check out “A Fine Line,” “Don’t Say Goodbye," and “Hammer and Nails”—but he avoids bloated deliveries or saccharine veneers. Even in the sweeping, weepy ballad “Easier Said Than Done,” the feeling is drawn from classic country and gospel, not stadium rock. Foster's much more than a neo-traditionalist, but it'd be lying to say that his chrome-plated Bakersfield swing numbers “Just Call Me Lonesome” and “Louisiana Blues” aren’t two of the best songs here. “Old Silver” is a great closer, full of the natural feeling that's so lacking in contemporary country. But the gold star must go to “Closing Time,” an alcoholic hymn for the ages.

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