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CD REVIEW: Brian Stace- Blue Eyed Bad Boy
By Jon Stewart - 02/03/2006 - 12:52 PM EST

Artist: Brian Stace
Album: Blue Eyed Bad Boy
CD Review: In rock, the lyrics in the first 45 seconds don’t matter the first time you hear the song (that’s why the hook was created); in country music, they do. On this CD, the songwriting ranges from good to superb on 7 of the 10 original songs included. “Something Strong” starts the album and we are introduced to a voice that will favor those who listen to the rest of the songs. His rich baritone makes each word resonate with the feelings, desires and unanswered questions that pack the album.

“The Next Best Thing” has a great rhythm that hasn’t been heard since early Jimmy Buffet. Lyrically, the put-on is well done while sustaining a high level of cleverness from verse to verse. It’s a great dance song as well.

“I Don’t Wanna Wish I Had” captures the essence of no regrets in country music. A pretty song that is dedicated to his lover, it’s musically fulfilling while making its point. “Half a Man” is a good dance song and has a great hook. This song showcases the slide guitar and really exposes the top notch band he has selected for the album.

“Time Starts to Fly” is the best song on the CD. When he gets to the hook “Every time I look into your eyes, Time starts to fly” the passion and emotion are overwhelming as written by Kelley Lovelace with Billy Crain. Grammy-nominated Lovelace, who has co-written songs with Brad Paisley including “He Didn’t Have To Be” and a #1 hit on Billboard, “Wrapped Around” with Paisley and Chris DuBois and a number #2 Billboard hit, is to be congratulated for this beautiful piece of country magic.

“Blue Eyed Bad Boy” misuses the rock classic “American Woman” lick for its overriding musical tension and is let down by the song’s reference to rock and roll. It doesn’t work as a dance song either. Written by Stace, Page Jackson and Marty Brown and thankfully short at 2.37, this song is the only one with an attribution to Stace.

The next two songs are well-written songs with lots of interest to country music fans. “Alice in Wonderland” is a dreamy, upbeat song that has excellent musicianship and offers a sharp contrast to the following song “Wanda”. In that song, a tale of a town’s mean-spiritedness that ends with the title character’s suicide seems like it is taken out of a headline from some small town.

The last two songs are pedestrian country music fare and do not engage in the heavy lifting that is necessary to have an album full of great country classics. Grade B.

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