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Rodney Atkins - Honesty (Curb Records)
CD Review by Cheryl Harvey Hill

The first time I heard "Honesty (Write Me A List)," the title cut from the album by newcomer Rodney Atkins, I was in my car. I didn't hear the title of the song nor did I hear the name of the singer but after all these years of reviewing albums, I know a hit song when I hear one. I pulled into a fast-food parking lot and dialed the radio station to get the name of the song -- the line was busy -- and it stayed busy through ten tries over the next hour. I decided to wait until I got home to call again. The moment I hit my front door, I dialed the radio station once again. At the other end a voice answered, "'Honesty' by Rodney Atkins, is there anything else I can do for you?" It was clearly apparent that I was not the only one who recognized (and/or was touched by) a hit song. The receptionist told me that the phone started ringing as soon as the song ended its debut spin and totally locked up the switchboard. In an effort to free up the phone lines the DJ announced the song and singer in the next segment but folks were apparently so busy dialing, they weren't listening. Two hours later they were still getting calls. Although "Honesty" never made it to number one on the charts, it did make it to number one with the millions of people who immediately earmarked the song as their all-time favorite "breaking up" song. (And according to rumor, Atkins owes Dr. Phil a huge debt of gratitude for the concept.)

Atkins readily admits that he is a fan of rock music and intentionally incorporated the genre into his music. In a recent interview he said, "I still remember the first time I heard a Def Leppard record years ago; it sounded incredible. The only problem is that half the time I don't know what they're singing about. On my record I'm putting [country and rock] together: I'm singing about things that are real to me, but I'm giving you something that will sound great on your stereo -- not just compared to country acts, but to anything you want to hear." Atkins isn't just talking the talk either; he can walk the walk. He co-wrote eight of the dozen songs on this album, and to compliment his own energies he included "Yeah She Does," written by Keith Urban and Hugh Murray.

When the music is good ... the music is good. Atkins, who majored in psychology at Tennessee Tech, has apparently also mastered anatomy, at least where it pertains to music. By his own words he admits that he likes to "slam" on the guitar but he is equally adept at slamming heavy on the emotional scale with his voice. Bottom line is, even if you purchase this album only to get the title song, you will be getting your monies worth.

Honesty  track list: 

01. Honesty (Write Me A List)
02. What's Left Of Me
03. Monkey In The Middle 
04. Someone To Share It With 
05. The Love We Make 
06. The Man I Am Today 
07. Uncomplicated 
08. Sing Along
09. Yeah She Does 
10. I Will Come To You 
11. Forgiveness and Permission 
12. My Old Ma


Rating: Buy it!

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