Picks and Pans Review: 10

updated 12/19/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/19/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

John Anderson
Anderson's throaty, bluesy voice is one of the most distinctive in country music, and he (with co-producer Jimmy Bowen in this case) has a proven talent for rounding up songs that turn nice phrases, verbally as well as musically. Some of these tunes he writes himself, such as the slick If It Ain't Broke Don't Fix It (with Tony Stampley as co-writer): "If it's wound up don't try to wind it/ And if it's not lost don't try to find it/ It always helps to make it easy on yourself." Others are derived from other writers, such as the Don Cook-Keith Whitley song Light at the End of the Tunnel: "There's a light at the end of the tunnel/ There's a chance that it ain't gonna rain/ There's a light at the end of the tunnel/ And for once it ain't a fast moving train." Not everyone will sympathize with the philosophical bent of the Lionel Delmore-Larry Cordle tune Lower on the Hog: "There's people standin' with their hands out formin' a welfare line/ Savin' their back while I'm out breakin' mine." Still, Anderson's average guy demeanor usually is hard to argue with, and he shows an uncommon musical common sense. (MCA)

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