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Never Going Back

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iTunes Review

One of country music’s acclaimed balladeers celebrates his 10th studio album with a return to the country rock roots that first inspired him. Collin Raye began making music heavily influenced by classic rock bands like the Eagles and Lynyrd Skynyrd, so he recorded Never Going Back in Alabama's historic Muscle Shoals and it sounds like some of the old ghosts seeped into these songs. Just listen to the first few bars of the opening title-track. Yes, that’s a cowbell holding it down next to a guitar that sounds imported from Joe Walsh’s 1972 debut Barnstorm, and if you listen closely the melody plays like something that could have been penned by J.D. Souther. The beachy twang of “Don’t Tell Me You’re Not In Love” recalls Don Henley and Glen Frey’s “Tequila Sunrise” right down to the airtight harmonies, electric piano and rhythmic castanets. “Mid-Life Chrysler” is one of the catchiest twang-rockers here with a grinding organ and witty lyrics that poke fun at older guys trying to turn back the clock. But fans of the man’s ballads need not worry. “Take Care of You” is classic Raye spinning sap into gold.

Customer Reviews

Great album!

Album is great! DO NOT BUY FROM ITUNES! It only includes 12 tracks, and if you go to Collin's website there are 14 tracks. Wish I had known that before spending the money at iTunes. I will be surprised if they post this.

‘90s hitmaker adds indie heart and soul to the spit and polish

Raye came out blazing in 1991, reeling off four straight million selling albums and a string of hit country singles. He waxed a compelling catalog that mixed standard Nashville topics with more daring message songs, but his commercial success tailed at decade’s end. Freed from his contract with Epic, Raye’s gone the indie route with a live disc and a series of studio albums that rekindle the melodic productions of his hit years. His latest is more relaxed than 2005’s Twenty Years and Change, staying closer to the balladry of 2006’s Fearless. Raye’s Nashville fans may wonder where the twang got to, but his adopted West Coast country-rock sound fits him well. Eagles fans will do a double-take as the title track borrows a good page from the Don Henley songbook. The echo of Henley’s voice is actually heard throughout the album, even when the lyrics turn to more straightforward love ballads and the productions gain a smoothness the Eagles typically didn’t seek. Raye clearly learned a thing or two about record production during his tenure with Epic, and with producer Michael Curtis he’s waxed an indie album that sounds as polished as anything on the majors. That may seem easy in this day of vocal tuning, digital processing and automated mixing, but knowing what to record and how to record it aren’t lessons that come with computer software. This is a mainstream album, but Raye’s loosened up his Nashville instincts by recording in Muscle Shoals, allowing local players to add a dash of swinging soul that pushes the music beyond cookie cutter contemporary country. The Muscle Shoals sound refreshes a cover of Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle with You.” You can still hear the song’s signature melodic hook, but the organ and guitar are rowdier and the vocal is more of a bar-band blues shout than the original’s nasal nod to Dylan. Dire Straits-styled guitar chords open the satisfied “Mid-Life Chrysler,” and a serendipitous Las Vegas adventure provides the story for the carefree “Where it Leads.” A few of the love songs sound pedestrian in this company, and a cover of “Without You” is staged as a duet (with Susan Ashton) that’s professional but no match for Nilsson’s signature hit. More engaging is the lost-husband tearjerker “The Cross” and Raye’s thought-provoking take on a Christian’s individual responsibility, “The Only Jesus.” The album closes with the highly personal “She’s With Me,” a tender acoustic ballad written by Raye for his granddaughter. On its surface, this album sounds like others coming out of Nashville, and could readily catch on with radio. But there’s a lot more heart, soul, craft and emotion here than the typical Music Row construction, and this could also catch on with those who’ve forsaken mainstream country. Raye’s fans will find him in great voice and spirits, and those fans who find that commercial production favorably crosses their ears once in awhile should check out the upbeat tracks for a taste of country rock and soul. [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]

Aways amazing!

As always Collin goes for the heart! If you love his previous work, you will love this album.....


Born: August 22, 1959 in De Queen, AR

Genre: Country

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

Contemporary country star Collin Raye burned up the sales charts in the '90s, thanks to a blend of country-rock and smooth balladry, and a willingness to record socially conscious material in between the dance and romance tunes. Raye was actually born Floyd Collin Wray in DeQueen, AR, in 1959, and his mother, Lois, was a locally popular singer who opened concerts for various Sun Records stars in the '50s. She sometimes brought Collin and his older brother Scott on-stage to harmonize with her, and...
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Never Going Back, Collin Raye
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