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Rodney Atkins - If You're Going Through Hell  
Album Review By: Cheryl Harvey Hill, Sr. Staff Journalist

The album kicks off with "These Are My People" and "kicks off" is probably an understatement. This cut is the polar opposite of the song that made Rodney Atkins a household name; "Honesty (Write Me A List)." The "Honesty" is still there; in fact, on this project there may even be more than on that famous list. But the messages are more in your face odes to life and they are delivered via a voice that now displays a little more wear and tear around the edges which only makes it more convincing. In fact, there is not much on this sophomore project that resembles Atkins previous incarnation. The title cut and first single to be released, "If You're Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)," is an accurate barometer of the musical content of the whole project but don't get so caught up in the tempo that you miss the profound philosophy in the cleverly written lyrics on nearly every song.

Atkins majored in psychology at Tennessee Tech University and you can clearly detect that he was a most perceptive student when you listen carefully to the six songs he had a hand in co-writing: "About the South," "Watching You," "In the Middle," "Wasted Whiskey," "Invisibly Shaken," and "Angel's Hands." His insight and compassion are clearly evident especially on "Invisibly Shaken," "Watching You" and on "Angel's Hands" when he sings, "Even God cries when an angels hands are tied," that is some heavy stuff.

"Cleaning This Gun (Come on in Boy)" uses a little tongue in cheek humor to deliver its message but it is sure to have protective daddy's across the country, and around the world, nodding their heads in understanding unison to the meter and rhyme of the not so subtle words of caution for a young man getting ready to go out on a date with their daughter.

Atkins says that country music isn't just about life – it is life. He says it is about what people face every day and he believes that is what country music fans want to hear. He feels that the songs on this album reveal "the simple, rural truths that [he] grew up with and that he seeks to carry on through his own family and his music."

If the title cut is any indication, there is a receptive audience who agrees with Atkins and is eager to embrace his musical philosophy. "If You're Going Through Hell" has already made its way to the top five of both the R&R and Billboard singles charts. The album will hit stores on July 18th.

Video – "If You’re Going Through Hell"     

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1. These Are My People 
2. About the South 
3. Watching You 
4. Cleaning This Gun (Come on in Boy) 
5. In the Middle 
6. Man on a Tractor 
7. Wasted Whiskey 
8. Invisibly Shaken 
9. Angel's Hands 
10. If You're Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)

Related Links:
Official Website 
MySpace  

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