Curb. Three years after rocketing to stardom with "Indian Outlaw," McGraw has settled in as country music's Celine Dion--the consummate pro, surrounded and supported by top song-crafters and musicians who weave such attractive wrapping that whether there's an actual human being inside is almost moot. This album even carries (in a country context) a Dion-like range of aesthetics: chipper hearth-and-home sentiments ("Where the Green Grass Grows"), emotive ballads ("It's Your Love," a duet with wife Faith Hill) and wordplay novelties ("Hard on the Ticker").
But as admirable as the construction is--perhaps the most whole integration yet of Eagles-influenced rock-isms in a major country release--every element is as trite and anonymous as it is hummable. And McGraw's tenor twang isn't as distinctive or powerful an instrument as Dion's voice.
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