A 29-year-old from Glen Dale, W.Va., Cartwright is aligned closer to the neo-traditionalists of his generation of country singers. He'll remind people more often of Dwight Yoakam or Randy Travis, for instance, than he will of Lyle Lovett or, certainly, Steve Earle. Cartwright wrote nine of the 10 tunes on this debut album, and they're a lively mix, concentrating on the variously good, bad and indifferent sides of romance. "That's Why They Call It Falling" is typical: "You won't see it/till it's already there/Common sense will desert you/but you really won't care."
The track Cartwright didn't write, however, is the album's most striking. "Like Father Like Son," by Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz, is a pleasantly sentimental gesture to the notion that parents are not all that bad, in the same vein as "The Living Years," the recent hit by the pop-rock group Mike + the Mechanics. Cartwright has one of those bright, ingratiating voices that makes him especially suited for material such as this, where the sound of sincerity is at a premium. (MCA)