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Billy Dean: A Man of Good Fortune *

Track List

>I Can't Leave
>Seed, A
>Middle of Nowhere
>Dear John
>All the Difference in the World
>I Don't Need as Much Hell
>Crazy Beautiful
>Imagine What I'd Do
>Made for You and I
>Laura Nadine

Album Notes

Dean has certainly had his ups and down in the music business, going from unknown to overnight sensation courtesy of his Star Search win for Male Vocalist in 1988. After a string of hits in the `90s, Dean's commercial star was tarnished a bit in the interim, but he came back strong in 2004 with Let Them Be Little. A Man of Good Fortune follows the template of that release with tunes that span the entire range of modern country music. "Dear John" is an old-time country stomper about broken hearts with a great turn of phrase -- "She left a `Dear John' letter on my John Deer tractor." Fiddle, banjo, and a Waylon Jennings backbeat drive the jaunty "I Can't Leave a Good Thing." "I Don't Need as Much Hell to Raise" is a country-rocker driven by crunchy power chords and a solid backbeat. "Middle of Nowhere" bemoans the encroaching urbanization that's pushing country life to the margins of society, playing off a modern lyric against the fiddles and banjos of old-time country music. "Laura Nadine" is a folksy story song, while "All the Difference in the World" and "Crazy Beautiful" are the kind of over-the-top sentimental ballads that can easily go wrong, but Dean's warmth and sincerity give them a heartfelt sheen. No matter what your taste is in country music, Dean delivers plenty to like on this strong collection. ~ j. poet


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