Picks and Pans Review: Old 8x10

updated 09/12/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/12/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Randy Travis

Warm summer night. Leaves rustling in the breeze. Maybe a little dull thunder on the horizon. And Randy Travis singing David Lynn Jones's Here in My Heart: "And I will hold you always/ No matter how far we're apart/ You could be anywhere in the world tonight/ But I'd still have you here in my heart." Little bit of country music heaven. This album, Travis' third, generates a lot of warm feelings, whether he's celebrating on Dennis O'Rourke's Honky Tonk Moon or confessing, as he is on It's Out of My Hands (Travis—John Lindley): "It started with my lying/ And it ended with me crying/ And she's taken all the lonely she can stand." Kathie Baillie and the Boys do background vocals; Dennis Locorriere adds subtle close-in harmonies, and a bunch of skilled Nashville studio musicians provide the support. The Ken Bell—Larry Henley tune Is It Still Over?—"Since my phone still ain't ringing I assume it still ain't you"—is unhappily similar to the Jimmy Buffett song If the Phone Doesn't Ring, It's Me. Travis' vocal similarity to Merle Haggard, while hardly unhappy, is disconcerting at times. Otherwise, this record only confirms that the acclaim and glee that greeted Travis' first two albums were roundly justified. (Warner Bros.)

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