Picks and Pans Review: Exile
Since its bubble-gummy No. 1 pop hit in 1978, Kiss You All Over, this Kentucky-based quintet has been living up to its name, stuck in record-business purgatory. Now it is risen again, as a country group, encouraged by the fact that such performers as Janie Fricke and Kenny Rogers have recorded tunes written by Exile members. All five men were born in Indiana or Kentucky, so it's not surprising that Exile sounds comfortable as a country act, much like the Oak Ridge Boys, for whom the group has opened in concert, or the Statlers. The material is mainstream Nashville, along the lines of I Just Came Back to Break My Heart Again. It's not revolutionary, but it's likable. The only objectionable track is This Could Be the Start of Something Good, which is much too close to Steve Allen's This Could Be the Start of Something. Otherwise only pride should stir in the heart of lead singer-guitarist J.P. Pennington's mom, Lilly Mae Ledford, one of the Coon Creek Girls on the old Renfro Valley (Ky.) Barn Dance radio show.