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Mark Wills - And The Crowd Goes Wild
Album Review by: Cheryl Harvey Hill

I think Mark Wills has always been a closet rocker. If you have ever seen him in concert, you know exactly what I mean. Although he is best known (on radio) for his country ballads, his diehard fans can attest that he has always been a little bit country and a little bit rock without the roll. The first time I saw him in concert back in '97 he did a cover of (something akin to) Journey's "Faithfully" where he easily extended his vocal range above and beyond anything we had heard from him up to that point. It was an incredible rendition of a rock classic that nearly brought the house down, so it is no surprise that on his first outing as co-producer, the end result would have a sound more in tune (pun intended) to the inner Wills. "I didn't want this record to sound like every other record in Nashville," Wills says. "When you hear this record, you're gonna hear 'different'."

The title cut, and the first song to be released from the album, sets the tone for the rest of the album. It is different than any of Wills' previous albums, despite the beautiful ballads "That's A Woman" and "What She Sees In Me," a marvelous tribute to all the females in his life -- mother, wife and daughters.

For the ultimate difference, Wills even joins forces with the fabulous Ronnie Milsap to sing a duet of a bona-fide "trucker tune" - Milsap's 1984 Top 10 hit, "Prisoner Of The Highway." "That was probably the coolest thing I've ever gotten to do," Wills says. "My dad is a truck driver, and that song was always one of his favorites."

But then just when you are thinking his music, and persona, may have taken a whole new turn, the last song begins. Within seconds of the beginning of "A Singer In A Band," there he is; that familiar, smooth, beautiful baritone. He is singing, with recognizable passion, a song that could well be autobiographical about a humble singer who is embarrassed that some folks consider him a hero when he feels there are so many others who are more deserving of the title.

This song is Mark Wills ... because, regardless of the musical genre, some things never change and we have all come to know that he is a genuinely humble soul.  Even when the crowd goes wild, ask Wills how he sees himself and he'll probably respond that he is just a husband, a daddy and (lucky for us) "A Singer In A Band."

Mark Wills And The Crowd Goes Wild track list: Buy It!

1. And The Crowd Goes Wild
2. He's A Cowboy
3. That's A Woman
4. Prisoner Of The Highway 
    (w/ Ronnie Milsap)
5. What Hurts The Most

6. What She Sees In Me
7. Married In Mexico
8. Suntan
9. How Bad Do You Want It
10. I Just Close My Eyes
11. Singer In A Band

Website Review by Jim Weaver:
Simple nice-looking design, no FLASH, too wide. According to available statistics 52% of the browsers screen resolutions are set to 800x600, Mark's site is optimized for 1024x768 which means that most of the visitors to Marks site have to scroll around just to see everything. The other video setting is gaining in popularity, it's up to 38%, and while more and more computers have 17" monitors and better video cards the majority still have the larger video setting. Until those numbers flip I think all sites should be designed to fit into that 800 pixel wide format. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the site is bad or anything like that, quite the contrary. Mark's site has tons-o-stuff for the fans to look at and participate in; chat room, message board, tour info, music clips, a great fan pictures section and much more! The "video settings" thing above is what I consider to be good advise for webmasters, but it doesn't count that much against the site. 

Rating: Good Job!

Please visit the
website for yourself
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