Picks and Pans Review: Next Big Thing
"When you finally hit the top/ Man, you know what that means/ Everybody's ready for the next big thing/ For a little while you can do no wrong/ Well, live it up, son, 'cause it don't last long." So goes this disc's title tune, a playful, infectious ditty about the fickle nature of fame. Having won 15 Grammys and sold 22 million albums in his 23-year career, though, Gill has outlasted many a country upstart, and his quality 11th release shows just why. There is nothing flashy here, just meat-and-potatoes country. There's a touch of bluegrass and Cajun spice on "Old Time Fiddle," romantic balladry on "Two Hearts" and even a hint of rock on the title track. The CD's 17 well-conceived songs are splendidly executed by excellent musicians as well as a host of terrific guest singers including Emmylou Harris, Lee Ann Womack, Michael McDonald, Gill's 20-year-old daughter Jenny and his wife, Amy Grant. Still, it's clear throughout who's in charge.
BOTTOM LINE: A real Gill joy
Album of the week