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Chuck Wicks - Starting Now 
Album Review By:
Brianna Nightingale, CSO Staff Journalist
1/28/08

When Chuck Wicks was just two classes short of a college degree, a friend told him that if he wanted to succeed in the country music business, he better move to Nashville. Wicks took the advice, dropped out of school and made the move. For the first four years, he found himself writing songs by day and parking cars at night, using this time to “find” himself. Around his fifth year in Nashville, Wicks took his guitar to RCA, performed the songs he co-wrote with some other talented songwriters and finally earned a record deal.

Wicks’ debut album includes everything from slow ballads about harsh break-ups to “Stealing Cinderella,” the strong first single about asking for a daughter’s hand in marriage. Wicks co-wrote 10 of the 11 songs on the CD, which is full of tracks that explain the last 28 years of his life. In an interview with Cindy Watts, a staff writer with The Tennessean, Wicks said “Through this record I literally am exposing myself and who I am, what I believe in, what I've been through, things that make me smile and laugh and cry.”

The album opens with “All I Ever Wanted” and “Good Time Comin’ On,” two well-written love songs. “All I Ever Wanted” is more about potential love while “Good Time Comin’ On” finds a couple falling in love on a summer car ride.

“If We Loved,” the only song on the album that Wicks did not co-write, is optimistic and desirable. The one that follows, “When You’re Single,” points out the positive aspects of being single, but then admits “When you’re single you’d trade it all to fall in love again.”

The passion in Wicks’ voice is strong in “What If You Stay,” about the difficult times after breaking up. “She’s Gonna Hurt Somebody” picks up the pace again just before “Mine All Mine” finds a man taking advantage of the little time he is able to spend with his girlfriend. “Now that I got you here / All to myself / Baby, I ain't sharing you with no one else / You've been everybody else's all week long / But tonight you're mine, all mine.” 

The album’s title track, “Starting Now,” starts with a little dialog but quickly picks up a great tune and story line.

Maybe I should take a bus ride 
Maybe I should put this car in drive 
And go find the love that we both used to know 
Maybe I can find the one way 
Maybe you’ll forgive me someday 
No red lights stopping me 
Nothing gonna slow me down 
Starting now

The fun-loving “All I Ever Wanted” and another emotive tune about a harsh break up, “The Easy Part,” are both possibilities for the album’s second single. Wicks also believes that “Man of the House” would be a great single, but it will have to come later. This tune wraps up the album, describing the rapid maturity found in a 10-year-old boy who takes his father’s place at home while he awaits dad’s return from the war.

Since his voice is not particularly distinct, Wicks included a few inimitable vocal and instrumental sounds throughout this album that help him stand out from other artists. Despite the fact that his career did not take off right away, his first single is now sitting at number 13 on the charts and he has recently made his way to the big stage, currently opening for Brad Paisley’s Bonfires and Amplifiers Tour. If he continues to write and perform songs like these, he’s sure to gain more interest from fans. Starting now

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