Picks and Pans Review: I'm Not So Tough

UPDATED 09/20/1999 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/20/1999 at 01:00 AM EDT

Mindy McCready (BMG)

Despite her titular denial, McCready certainly seems tough enough to have gotten over the demise of her engagement to TV Superman Dean Cain (Lois & Clark) with no evident signs of trauma. To judge from the jaunty, defiant songs on this album, she is in great shape.

Like Linda Ronstadt, McCready is adept at shifting from sensuous rock idioms to straightforward country ballads, but here she sounds more mature than she has in the past. And McCready and her producers, Billy Joe Walker Jr. and Csaba Petocz, draw on an array of resourceful composers, including Matraca Berg, Kim Carnes, Aimee Mayo and Kim Richey. "Thunder and Roses," a clever nod to the virtues of blending passion and romance, is an especially appropriate tune for the emotionally inclined McCready. "All I Want Is Everything" (cowritten by Berg) is a nice fit, too, as she struts her stuff after a breakup. McCready's perkiness is better suited to the album's livelier songs, but she is now handling ballads with more sensitivity.

Bottom Line: After heartache, a resilient young singer bounces back

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