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Gretchen Wilson - One Of The Boys 
By: Jolene Downs, CSO Contributing Journalist  

It seems that those who were once predicting Gretchen
Wilson would be a one hit wonder have to eat their words. She has been a regular on the charts since the release of her first single, and the tracks that are on her third album
ensure that will continue her stay there. On one track Wilson will send out a drinking song that rivals those of Hank Williams Jr. and George Jones. Then she turns around and sings a ballad filled with enough smoky emotions and sultry lyrics that you wonder how someone singing like that could possibly be able to talk about Skoal rings and mud bogging with the boys. So what makes Wilson special and sets her apart from the dozens of other female artists in the field? She is versatile and she is consistent; two qualities that bode well for a long term career. Plus she is also a phenomenal writer, writing or co-writing 10 of the 11 tracks on her current CD, One of the Boys.

I have about 10 CD's that stay in my car all the time. These are the CD's I enjoy listening to again and again. One
of the Boys
was quick to be included in that bunch. John
Rich and Wilson co-wrote the first single, "Come to Bed,"
singing it as a duet. It is a powerful ballad about the aftermath of a fight and just needing to be close to each
other for awhile. If you really listen to the lyrics throughout the album, you can get a feel for who Wilson is as a person. Her softer side shines through with songs like "The Girl I Am" and "Heaven Help Me." Her party side comes out with songs like "One of the Boys" and "You Don't Have to Go Home." Actually, I'd probably classify "One of the Boys" as a party ballad. Listening to the lyrics she wonders why she has to give up her feminine side just because she likes to hang out with the boys. She can match them drink for drink, beat them in a game of pool and play cards with the best of them. But why do they think that because she can do those things she doesn't like a little romance as well? Does she really have to give up one for the other? It is definitely one of my favorite songs on the CD. The other one that I really liked was where she shows off her sarcastic humor. "If You Want a Mother" makes me laugh every time I hear it because I can name four or five men off the top of my head that fit perfectly to the lyrics. It has a fantastic play on words and turns things neatly back on the guy. She feels his expectation of her doing all the cooking, cleaning and laundry sounds far more like a mother than his partner. So she can make a fine mother if that is what he wants. No bowling with the boys because he is grounded. If he's grounded then that means he can't drive his brand new Ford truck, and she'll have to drive it for him. If he needs her she'll be sleeping down the hall because big boys have to sleep in their own room. 

With this album, one really has to wonder what Wilson can come up with that will top it for her next one. However, with her writing and singing skills I'm sure that it will be well worth the wait to see what happens. Meanwhile, do yourself a favor and grab a copy. You won't be disappointed.

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