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Mark Wills, Permanently (Mercury)
I like schlock maybe more than the next guy, but this is ridiculous. Every song here is a ballad. Worse still, they're all the slow-tempo kind designed to tug at your heartstrings. Only a few moments like the surprisingly untwangy guitar solos on "Because I Love You" and "Forget About Love" point toward earlier Wills work, when he seemed the avatar who would find the highly commercial synthesis between platinum country schlock and platinum stadium rock schlock. And, since every song is a ballad, whether about romance or abandoned children or romance or raising a family or romance, the full line from "Forget About Love" goes: "Nothing makes you forget about love like love". Still, a line like that might work on me if I were a middle-aged housewife as desperately bored (and secretly horny) as Shel Silverstein's Lucy Jordan. But I'm not.