Picks and Pans Review: Life Is Good

updated 10/23/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/23/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Emilio

This 32-year-old Texan already has seven Latin albums behind him and 13 Tejano Music Awards lining his mantel. From the sound of this release—his country debut—he would better make some more room on the shelf. Emilio seems perfectly at home his first time out in the land of 1,000 hats. The opener, "Even If I Tried," saunters out of the gate like a champion show horse, laden with steel guitar, fiddle, honky-tonk piano and Emilio's husky, slightly raspy voice, which rides the tune with assurance. The singer can rock with the best of 'em, as he proves on such rowdy stampers as "Long As I Got You" and the title cut. Tender moments? There are a few of those too, including Van Morrison's love-laid-bare ballad "Have I Told You Lately" and the doo-wopish "There'll Be No More Crying" wherein our charismatic crooner displays a fine yearning yodel. And in a nod to his Tejano roots, two of the songs are repeated in Spanish. No doubt about it, Emilio's a winner in any language. (Capitol Nashville)

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