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Deana Carter - Story Of My Life  
CD Review: Jim Moulton

Well, here we go again, a new year, God Bless. 

Remember Deana Carter "Did I Shave My Legs For This?" and other songs from the ninety's? Well, put the old Deana out of mind, no more Nashville country singer on her first Vanguard release. She proves it by starting out with a hard rocker, "The Girl You left Me For" as the lead song on her newest album.

This is a total new sound from the country pop star we used to know, this CD won't be getting any airplay from country radio, but that doesn't mean it's not worthwhile. Sounds like she has been dosing up on Lucinda Williams and Kasey Chambers, lots of alt/country and folk influence. I don't recognize her voice, if you played me a track and said, who is this? I wouldn't have a clue. She does use a lot of special effects on her vocals on some tracks. Her phrasings are very different, she really has recreated her sound.

It's a very good quality recording, nothing fancy, but some good musicians, lots of hard rock guitar, great keyboards and nice punchy bass. Some Beatles' influence evident in a couple of songs. Some distortion in the mix on purpose (that's what alt/country) musicians do. Don't ask me why.

This is one of my real time reviews, listening as I write my thoughts down. I really like "In A Heartbeat", slow acoustic song with a raspy voice with some great melody and some good vocal hooks. Some grunge lead guitar.

Wait, a really nice sparse song just came on, wow, great vocal inflections and great acoustic guitar. Some strange lyrics for "Katie", but it is a great song about a different type of girl. Real pretty and mellow. 

"Atlanta and Birmingham" is a great acoustic, love ballad, slow and emotional, real detailed nuances on her vocal delivery. She sings with great control. Some obligatory grunge guitar and great bass.

"She's Good For You" is an upbeat rocker, with great acoustic guitar. Some strange sounding backup vocals. This recording has the vibe of a home studio, sort of like Loretta Lynn's "Van Lear Rose". 

"Not Another Love Song", a song about not wanting to write another love song. Very pretty guitar effects. Good punchy bass. Best lead guitar break on album, very mellow. Part of a verse "can't take another painful melody". 

You know, I don't have any liner notes ,so I don't know who wrote all of these songs, but honestly, if this writer doesn't want to write another love song, I would say, don't, simple as that. Actually, one of my favorite songs on the eleven song CD. 

"Sunny Day" - sorry, don't comment on songs with cursing, really shocked me, Deana Carter (cursing in a song) - what an image blaster.

I think there is supposed to be a theme associated to the CD Story Of My Life (picture of her as a 3 year old on the cover) Lots of bitterness, sorrow and anger seethes thru a lot of these songs. Lots of the songs have similar themes. My favorite song is "Getting Over You", a real bouncy feel with some really neat electric guitar. Some great piano and just a really great song. Title track is very pretty, on this song she really sounds like someone, just can't peg it. Very cerebral disc. If you like Kate Campbell, Kasey Chambers and Lucinda, this disc is for you.- in stores 3/8/05 

www.deanacarter.net 
www.vanguardrecords.com/deanacarter
 

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Real People Reviews

I found this new CD to be GREAT!!! Not only did Deana leave the country-whiner twang of dullsville acts like Dixie Chicks, REBA and countless other sell into the mix "country" artist behind, she did it with extreme grace.

Deana's got quite a few great catchy songs on this new CD, most notably: One Day At A Time; try not chiming in on the chorus Thelma and Louise... Ordinary; Finally a song that says it's okay not to be. Not Another Love Song; How many people can under-sing a song and have it end up this beautiful and non-sappy, while this incredibly heartfelt?

Anyone who really enjoys great songs, beautiful melodies and looks for some substance beyond ear-candy, will LOVE Deana Carter's new effort. A sure to be classic you won't be selling on Ebay!

Dietrech Timmerman

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