Picks and Pans Review: Lonestar

updated 09/26/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/26/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Coming Home

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Even at their best, Lonestar have often sounded a little corporate—distant and mechanical. So it's a pleasant surprise to hear the human touch that new producer Justin Niebank got out of the country group on this follow-up to 2004's Let's Be Us Again. Even lead singer Richie McDonald, something of a hood ornament at times, sounds more into it, lending real feeling to such tunes as "Doghouse," "I Just Want to Love You" and the striking but overproduced "I Never Needed You," which features a backup vocal from Sara Evans. This is clearly a new and improved Lonestar.

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