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Billy Dean - Let Them Be Little
Curb Records
By Cheryl Harvey Hill

Billy Dean says that at the pinnacle of his success, "playing music was no longer fun." After a lot of soul searching and deliberation, he decided to invest in his children instead of his career but it was clearly an investment that paid musical dividends because Dean has now returned to the airwaves and he has never sounded better than he does on Let Them Be Little. The moving title song from his debut album for Curb Records has, with good reason, put him back in the top ten of the music charts.

Parenthood has perceptibly inspired Dean to write some poignant lyrics and he had a hand in writing on eleven of the twelve songs on this album but his voice has also benefited from his parental dedication and contented lifestyle. On "Let Them Be Little" there is a relaxed easiness in his voice that allows him to deliver the lyrics with more warmth than a hug from your oldest best friend while on "Race You To The Bottom," he demonstrates an edginess in his voice that was most likely drawn from personal experience. The message is bleak but the song is delivered with so much rhythm and sass that you can't help but enjoy it.

Dean says that when he made the decision to leave his career to devote full time to his children, they actually ended up parenting him and have taught him a lot. Their influence also helped him tap into a "different creative space" that had a positive impact on his writing which this album easily illustrates. There isn't a bad song on the album but "I'm in Love With You" was a definite standout for me. It is a stirring tribute to love at a most intimate level. The song is lyrically strong and passionately sung; very nice. I really enjoyed "Slow Motion," another love song, and "Good Love Gone Bad" is a catchy, bluesy tune that gives Dean a platform to show off his vocal acuteness. Last, but not least, is the hit song that he is probably most identified with; "Billy the Kid." But there is a new zest in the delivery on this version and it makes this stroll down memory lane a most enjoyable encore and a nice way to end the album.

Dean's credits his children with giving him the wisdom to see that music must come before the business but, more importantly, they taught him that when you have a happy life, the rest all falls into place. This album illustrates that he has been an astute pupil.

The album is a definite keeper and I, for one, am pleased that Dean has realized that he can have a life and a music career; we've missed him.

www.BillyDean.com 

Rating: BUY IT!

If you would like to hear the album in it's entirety via online streaming then pick your poison and you better have a broadband connection!  

All the song clips below are in Windows Media format.

Billy Dean - Let Them Be Little CD track list:

1. This Is The Life  
2. Eyes  
3. Thank God I'm A Country Boy  
4. I'm In Love With You  
5. Slow Motion  
6. Let Them Be Little 
7. Good Love Gone Bad 
8. Race You To The Bottom  
9. Shelfer Street  
10. Swinging for the Fence  
  BONUS TRACKS  
11. Somewhere in my Broken Heart  
12. Billy the Kid 

Did you like this album? did you hate it? Submit a "Real People Review"
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Real People Reviews

I saw Billy Dean last night in concert, This man has a True talent. I have great hope for his new CD to take him back to #1 where he belongs. He's real, the entire package the way country music should be... a singer, songwriter and great performer. Its nice to see a Man be a role model to Fathers and sing about it.( Let them be little). I loved every minute of the show and still enjoying my personally autographed CD. I even got to tell him how great the show was, He is a great guy and fun to watch on stage. Good luck with the new releases, you deserve to shine. Thanks for coming to Louisiana.
~ McCain

Bravo Billy! I always enjoyed your music but now you have confirmed my thoughts about the man who wrote these lyrics, Good guys write and choose to sing deep thinking songs. Hope the culture "gets it", let them be little! AMEN
~ Joni

I saw Billy Dean just two weeks ago in concert. Love everything he does. I went out and bought his new CD...Let Them Be Little. I really like every song on it. Keep the songs coming, Billy....
~ Peggy

I agree with Billy's mom! This is truly from his heart and shows his character. That's just the way he was raised. Hats off to his mom & dad!
~ Richard

I think Billy has scored a bulls-eye with this album. It is apparent that the songs are from the heart. He has put a lot of effort into this release and I hope he is justly rewarded by the radio stations and the fans. This album is great !!!!!! 
~ CC

Billy, it's great to see you back on top! I've been a fan since his first song and have seen him many times in concert. Without a doubt, this is one of the most talented vocalists and songwriters - period! Even the great David Gates knows talent when he sees it, as evidenced by his collaboration with Billy on Real Man. The album shows off his crystal clear voice and they're really isn't a bad track on the disc. He even makes Thank God I'm A Country Boy an enjoyable song (not an easy feat). No wonder this release debuted at #8. More top ten songs will come from this album. Congrats Billy!
~ Jim

The album by my son Billy Dean I would have to say is the best. He has waited a long time to get back into his music that he has always loved so dearly. I know his father would be proud of him today if he were alive. Great Music
Mom 

(We were pleased to receive a note from Billy Dean's Mom and we couldn't agree with her more! Editor)

Billy Dean's new CD is 100% awesome, not an "it's okay" song on the whole thing, they are all great. there are some great vocals on here that I don't think I' ve heard from Billy before, and I thought I'd heard them all. I' ve been a fan of his forever, I' m so glad he's back, we' ve missed him! 
~ Tammy

Thank you...Thank you...Thank you Billy. It's been a very long, but a VERY WORTH IT wait for this new album. I share the opinions of all of the previous reviews of this album, but I do want to add that I feel that John Denver is surely smiling down, happy that someone as talented as Billy resurrected one of his most loved songs. "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" is dazzling on this album. My husband and I had the good fortune of hearing him do this and all his other great songs last night in Warsaw, Indiana at Billy's show. We have every one of Billy's albums, and it's true...he just keeps on getting better and better. He has it all...a superb and gifted songwriter, singer, and dedicated parent. Can't wait to see you again Billy! 
~ Kathy

He is super there needs to be more songs like Let them be Little that is a fantastic song.
~ Cherie

I've only listened to the links provided...but in answer to, "Did I like this album?" YES!!  "Let Them Be Little" is getting frequent airplay on my favorite radio station. I hope that, after the release of the new album, "Swinging for the Fence" is the first song to be added to their play list, followed by "Race You To The Bottom" and more!
I pre-ordered my CD and if the postman doesn't arrive before the stores open on the 29th... I'll have to buy another! 
Can't wait to hear these songs live...July-2005/Summerfest Milwaukee, WI
~ Karen

I love the new album. It is great to hear new music from Billy. I like the blend of music, and his honest delivery makes the songs that much better. His radio hit "Let Them Be Little" is a wonderful, touching song, and it is only one of several great songs on the album. My favorite song is "I'm In Love With You," which I have seen him perform live several times. Other standouts are "Swinging for the Fence" (an uplifting and fun song), "Eyes" (an upbeat love song), and "Race You to the Bottom" (a different style for him that he handles well). The bonus tracks are favorites of mine, especially "Somewhere in My Broken Heart," the song that made me a Billy Dean fan many years ago. 
~ Teri

AT LAST YEA! I have been waiting for new music for a long time. Billy is such a wonderful person. He has character. Anyone who would walk away from a career like he had to raise his children, man what a MAN. It shows what kind of a person he really is. He is the kind I will continue to support. I have followed Billy's career since the early 90's. He only gets better and better. I have listened to the new album and love it. His voice is great. I have enjoyed all of Billy's albums to date and can't wait to buy this one. I will be at the store when it opens Tuesday to get my copy. 
Thank you Billy, and please come to the Carolinas.
~ JP

THIS ALBUM WAS AWESOME......HOPE HE CONTINUES TO CUT ALBUMS A LONG, LONG TIME AND HIS LOOKS ARE SURE GOOD TOO
~ Dee

We just met Billy Dean on vacation in Clearwater Beach, Florida. Not only is he an amazing performer, but he's also an awesome guy! My husband and I aren't big country fans and didn't recognize the handsome guy who got up to sing and play guitar with the local band at Frenchy's on the beach. It wasn't until we heard his hit "Let Them Be Little," that we knew who he was. What a humble guy! It was our anniversary and (before I knew who he was) I asked him to play our song. He did so graciously and then came back and apologized for forgetting some of the words. He made our night! An awesome performer of a wide variety of music and also a stand-up guy! His heart-touching lyrics and smooth tone are enough to make a country music lover out of you if only for this album!
~ Rebecca & Cliff Koterwas - Portland, OR

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