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CD REVIEW: TampaStan - "Don't You Ever Grow Old"
By David Lockeretz - 08/06/2002 - 07:34 PM EDT

Artist: TampaStan
Album: "Don't You Ever Grow Old"
CD Review: Stan Good--AKA TampaStan--mixes Jimmy Buffet-style Floridian folklore and vernacular with genuine Branson, MO country to come up with a collection of songs which entertain--but in all likelihood will not stick with the listener.

This CD has some good material. "Where the Hell Is Heaven?" in particular evokes the spirit of Buffet's bittersweet and ironic ballad material; this song, which also bears a touch of Tom Waits, definitely could become a bar room classic. Another strong number is "Cries in the Night", although the lyrics and the music, while both good, don't go together very well--a ballad feel or a more modern-sounding groove would have been more appropriate for this song about the problems and dangers of city life.

Unfortunately, the rest of the material often feels cliche. Songs like "Pig Out" and "Redneck Heaven" definitely have a sense of humor, but it's closer to Cletus T. Judd than Weird Al Yankovic--or even Jeff Foxworthy--in that it's basically too safe. Throughout Yankovic's career, his humor has gotten progressively edgier, undoubtedly sustaining his success. For Good to establish himself as a comic artist as he seems to be trying to do with several of these numbers, perhaps a deeper underlying social comment (satire if you will) is necessary.

On other songs, such as "My Arms Are Open (7 Days A Week)" and "Touch You All Over", Good simply fails to break any new ground, although the latter features some energetic Jerry Lee Lewis style piano.

One more snit: the artwork/CD package needs to be improved. I'm not sure if the person who took the snapshot of Good on the back of the CD knew that the date was encoded in orange digits (February 28th, 2002), but having an insert that consists of two pieces of unevenly cut paper taped together just doesn't cut it these days.

It's nice to know that there are artists out there who simply want to entertain and not just call attention to their own agendas by how many facial piercings they have. No, Good is not out to change foreign policy or feed the people of Honduras, and he makes no bones about that. His goal is to put a smile on the faces of the listeners, and despite my criticisms, this disc had several songs that did just that.

For more information about TampaStan, visit www.tampastan.com.


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