Allen - That Was Then This Is Now Review By:George
Peden, CSO Staff Journalist
more Tritt than Strait, more McGraw than Jackson, and more
Otto than Keith. But more than a casual and easy pigeon-slot
comparison, newcomer Charlie Allen is exciting and
authentic. In essence: he is his own brand.
Allen is a charge-ahead, blue collar, hard-rocker who has
delivered a gritty countrified album with his
That Was Then This Is Now. Recently released, the album
is out on River Run Records. Showing a talent beyond just
singing, which he does with maturity and passion, Allen, who
started his career at seven with local events, has
contributed 10 co-writes.
The first cut is the God-centred "Can't Take Him Out Of Me".
Allen, richly blessed with a made-for-country twang, tells
you can take God out of everything, but you can't take him
out of this believer. Written with Brian White and Steve
Dean, the tune rocks along with it's assured message that
times and circumstances change, but a saving faith is a
constant source of comfort.
Did This To Me" stumbles from the righteous path of the
first tune, to disclose that too much hard living, with its
varied excesses, spells trouble with a capital T.
"Why Ask Why" and "See If I Care" are solid country fare,
while "Everything But Me" is a tune with radio in mind. The
song, with its melodic sadness of leavin' without looking
back, comes handled with strong and sensitive vocal emotion
from Allen, making it one of the standout tunes. Listen out
also for "Proof" -- a hard-edged rocker that tells it like
we know it to be -- drunks don't lie; the truth, or in this,
the proof, comes out loud and clear when the whiskey starts
Charlie Allen comes
to our notice with the envied distinction of being one 0f
2007's most played on radio indie artists. With an album of
blended country, a host of A-grade musicos pumpin' the
sound, and a string of songs that marry well with anything
around, this Tennessean, who now calls Nashville home, is a
CSO watch and wait prediction.