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Lonestar - Coming Home
By: Cheryl Harvey Hill, Sr. Staff Journalist

Richie McDonald, Michael Britt, Dean Sams and Keech Rainwater (collectively known as Lonestar) are, by their own admission, driven to make each album better than the last. This is not an easy task when your previous seven albums have sold well over ten million copies and produced more than a few major hits ("Amazed" is my personal favorite). When you are already, clearly, at the top of your game, it has to get increasingly difficult to "one up" yourself but Lonestar apparently has found the key to continued success. With their newest album, Coming Home, they are about to prove once again that all the previous awards and accolades were no fluke. As singers, songwriters (co-writing on eight of the album's new songs - Richie penned six, and Michael and Dean contributed one each) and, based on their humanitarian contributions over the past decade, all-around great guys; they are in a class by themselves.

Under the direction of new producer, Justin Neibank, they have been able to take their studio performance to a level on par with the energy they effortlessly deliver in live concerts. This is no small feat when you consider that ten thousand screaming fans can't be brought into a small recording studio just to get your adrenalin at the level it reaches when you are performing onstage in a sold-out venue.

To create an emotional balance with all the fun and frolic tunes, Lonestar has included some splendidly insightful, and honest, songs; "I Am a Man," "I Just Want to Love You," "I'll Die Tryin'" and "I Never Needed You," which has Sara Evans adding some fabulous depth to the already dynamic vocal harmonies of Lonestar. These songs are musically moving with those wonderful tight harmonies we have come to expect from this group, but it is the insightful and gentle lyrics that will cause you to hit the "replay" button. "I'll Die Tryin'" has all the earmarks of a number one hit and one that will, no doubt, accompany countless marriage proposals and be the number one requested song each and every Valentine's Day from here on.

When "Noise" began to play, I had to check my CD player because I thought it had somehow switched over to a Big and Rich album. I'm sure all the rockin' cowboys who love the Musik Mafia are going to love this song and maybe that is why it was included on this album -- no one can deny that radio has embraced the MM group with both arms and major antennas -- but I, for one, found this particular track to be a little too "Noise"y (pun intended). On the plus side, this song clearly illustrates that Lonestar can aptly rock the house on par with anyone when the urge strikes them.

"What's Wrong with That" sounded a lot like "Mr. Mom;" nothing wrong with that either, I suppose, and this song provides an excellent platform for the guys to show off their instrumental skills.

Niebank states that when he was asked to produce Coming Home, he started with a simple vision -- to capture in the studio the passion, edge and versatility of Lonestar's exciting concerts; he has every right to be patting himself on the back.

"This is our jeans-and-t-shirt album," says Britt. "No pretenses. We're not trying to be someone we're not. We got a producer who really liked the way we sounded and wanted to capture it on record. I can listen to the tracks now and think, 'That sounds more like us than we ever have.'"

On their website it states that "In the studio, Niebank brought a streamlined, less-is-more approach to proceedings, with fewer overdubs and less musical layering. He pushed the guitar and drums for muscle and drive, seasoned with countrified touches of Dobro and fiddle, and de-cluttered the arrangements to cast more of a spotlight onto the group's distinctive vocal harmonies." It also says that "All the band members agree that Coming Home marks a proud step up in their musical progression" and they'll get no argument from me on that.

The last song on the album is "When I Go Home Again;" an up-tempo, feel-good, no holds barred number. A perfect final cut, much like an appropriate ending for a live concert where this song would surely garner a standing ovation and a demand for an encore. These are good quality songs, preformed by talented artists, backed by dynamic instrumentals that generate a lot of good feelings; much like Coming Home.

www.Lonestar.mu

Buy The CD Now!

Lonestar - Coming Home song list:

1. You`re Like Comin` Home 
2. Doghouse 
3. I Am A Man 
4. I`ll Die Tryin` 
5. Wild 
6. Noise 
7. Littel Town 
8. I Never Needed You 
9. What`s Wrong With That 
10. Two Bottles Of Beer 
11. I Just Want To Love You 
12. When I Go Home Again 

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Real People Reviews

I bought the album "almost home" last week. I have almost worn it out. It just amazes me what great song writers these guys are. they are great guys too. I have been it the fan club since it started up... they are great. 
~Cath

 

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