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Tracy Byrd - Different Things  
Album Review By: Cheryl Harvey Hill, Sr. Staff Journalist

"Byrd Watcher's" rejoice, with a baker's dozen of top ten hits, five gold albums, and one double platinum album to his credit, we've come to expect great things from Tracy Byrd and he definitely lives up to our expectations on his newest album. From start to finish Different Things delivers a bevy of visual lyrics via dynamic, boot scootin', heart tuggin' music; all dramatically enhanced by Byrd's powerful vocal delivery.

Last year Byrd took charge of his own career and became co-owner of his own label; Blind Mule Records. He co-produced Different Things with his long-time friend and writing partner Mike Geiger and he also had a hand in writing on two of the songs; "She Was Smart" and "Hot Night in the Country."

The title cut, "Different Things," is the first track and the powerful lyrics, delivered in classic country style, set the tone for the entire album. Byrd says that this is one of the tracks that hit him really hard; my guess is that there will be a lot of folks echoing those same sentiments. But just when you are about to drop a few tears in your beer because "What I want and what I need / Have always been different things," Byrd shifts emotional gears with "The More I Feel Like Rockin'." This musical, emotional roller coaster continues throughout the album.

"A Cowboy and a Dancer" was one of my favorite cuts on the album and Byrd says it "came close" to being his. It is a great story song in keeping with classic country but before you can even recover from the pull you are feeling on your heart, an up-tempo tune titled "The Biggest Thing in Texas" starts to play. This cut is reminiscent of the remarkable Bob Wills, Texas swing tunes and the song is a terrific ode to the indisputable Texas pride. With its contagious music and fun lyrics, this track is certain to get everyone up on the dance floor.

"Just One Woman" is a beautiful ballad about a man's one true love while "Saltwater Cowboy" is a nonsensical ode to beach boy cowboys; polar opposites in subject but both songs are equally compelling, well written, and lyrically strong.

"Cheapest Motel" is traditional country at its ultimate best. Everyone knows that cheating songs are at the core of country music and this cut is a definite tribute to tradition but I think "Before I Die" just might be my favorite song on the album. It isn't just the powerful lyrics that got my attention on this track; it was the way Byrd moved through the song with so much feeling.

Byrd has always marched to the beat of a different drummer. He is a successful entrepreneur with strong ties to his family and his home state of Texas. He has had ongoing success designing fishing tackle, launching his own line of food products, hosting television shows and even authoring a cookbook. Staying true to himself has been the key to his success and, lucky for us this album proves that staying true to himself means staying true to the music. Byrd may sing about Different Things but one thing that never changes is his exceptional baritone voice and the quality of the songs he chooses to record.

Release Date: 10/31/06

 
Click on the CD cover to order yours!
1 Different Things 
2 The More I Feel Like Rockin' 
3 She Was Smart 
4 A Cowboy and a Dancer 
5 The Biggest Thing in Texas 
6 Just One Woman 
7 Saltwater Cowboy 
8 Cheapest Motel 
9 Better Places Than This 
10 Before I Die 
11 Hot Night in the Country

Related Links:
Official Website 
MySpace  

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