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*** VINCE GILL, "I Still Believe in You", MCA

RECORD RACK

October 04, 1992|RANDY LEWIS

On the follow-up to his Grammy-winning "Pocket Full of Gold" album, Gill falters out of the starting gate. The first three songs provide some vocal calisthenics but little that's emotionally involving. "Nothing Like a Woman," in particular, is but a slight, equally condescending variation on the "South Pacific" chestnut "There Is Nothing Like a Dame."

But beginning with "Tryin' to Get Over You"--the only song on the album Gill wrote without a partner--he sinks his teeth into a six-song stretch in which the cargo is more worthy of the carrier. He contends with temptation ("Under These Conditions"), lost love ("Say Hello"), repentance ("One More Last Chance") and casanovas ("Pretty Words") and delivers one absolute knockout ballad ("Love Never Broke Anyone's Heart").

He writes about characters who actually seem to learn from mistakes rather than merely repeat them, and about lovers or ex's who genuinely seem to care for--not just pine for--one another. And Gill wraps them up in beautifully sculpted vocals that often make even the occasional trite phrase sound far better than it reads.

\o7 New albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).\f7

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