03/02/1998 at 01:00 AM EST
Like Jerry Reed, who wrote one of the tunes on this ingratiating album, Singletary has a deep, warm voice and a loosey-goosey, playful, good-ol'-boy style. In a culture of pop musicians seemingly overwhelmed by their own cosmic importance, he is a welcome, though as yet largely unappreciated, presence.
This is the third album for Singletary, a 26-year-old native of Georgia, and it could well rescue him from relative obscurity. He has already survived the Nashville club circuit, where he worked his way up competing against people like Tracy Lawrence and Tim McGraw
Singletary obviously has respect for his elders in the country music business, not only using Reed's lively "A Thing Called Love," but explicitly saluting George Jones in the title track. An album highlight: "I'd Live for You," a clever piece by Dewayne Blackwell, composer of "Friends in Low Places." In it, Singletary sings, "I wouldn't die for love, like the poets say they'd do," but adds, "I'd swim the deep blue swimming pool, I'd climb the highest barroom stool." Next time you hear Singletary's name, he just might be sitting pretty, not on a bar stool but at the top of a record chart. (Giant)