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Luke Bryan

I’ll Stay Me

(Capitol Nashville; US: 14 Aug 2007; UK: Unavailable)

Country musician Luke Bryan has had some cuts redone by Travis Tritt, including “Honky Tonk History” but his new album is basically par for the new country course. Nicely packaged without the slightest of problems, songs like “Country Man” glide along in a glossy and safe manner. Nothing here is forced, but sadly nothing here sounds that challenging either. During the pop-tinted “Baby’s on the Way”, Bryan sounds like a cross between Brooks & Dunn and John Anderson—or any other average, adequate Nashville singer. Also, he comes off a bit like Tim McGraw on the song “The Car in Front of Me”. But perhaps the highlight is the light and finely tuned “I’ll Stay Me” while the Garth-ish “All My Friends Say” isn’t too shabby either and thankfully has a bit more bite.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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