(Giant Records, 1995)

by Sandra Toney

I haven't been this excited about a new country music singer since the first time I heard the music of Tracy Lawrence (one of my favorite musicians). But Daryle Singletary's music is as refreshing as the way his first name is spelled. On his debut album, titled simply Daryle Singletary, this newcomer impressed the hell out of me (which is hard to do, by the way). His collection of songs were right on target in complimenting this talented singer's style.

There are so many good songs on this album that it is difficult to pick favorites. Of course, the first single (which was also the first hit for Singletary), "Too Much Fun," is one of those fun-loving tunes that literally makes you sing out loud right along with the record. The chorus of the song says it all, "Too much fun, what's that mean/It's like too much money, there's no such thing/It's like a girl too pretty, with too much class/Bein' too lucky, a car too fast/No matter what they say I've done/Well, I ain't never had too much fun." Sorry Daryle, but this song is "too" good!

Other fast-paced songs on the album is the sure-to-be-a-hit written by Bob McDill and Tommy Rocco, "I'm Living Up To Her Low Expectations," the single that Mark Chestnut performed on one of his albums, "My Heart's Too Broke (To Pay Attention)," and the winning testimonial to the ordinary person, "Ordinary Heroes." This song pays tribute to the everyday, working class person who just goes along living his ordinary life. As Singletary sings, "Extra, extra, read all about it/Mother of four takes a part-time job/Does the shopping, folds the laundry/When her man works late, she keeps his dinner hot/Don't you know if it were up to me, I'd give credit where credit is due/And let ordinary heroes make the news." If only it was that easy . . .

Just as Daryle Singletary puts his heart and soul into his upbeat tunes, you can almost feel his pain in his ballads. Such ballads on this album include "What Am I Doing There?" "Workin' It Out," "There's A Cold Spell Movin' In," and "Would These Arms Be in Your Way?" As the titles to these songs suggest, all talk about love that's been lost (or about to be lost).

Okay, as far as having a "favorite" on this album, I'd have to pick the already radio-popular hit, "I Let Her Lie," which has Singletary loving his wife so much that he closed his eyes to the truth and "let her lie." He knew she was having affairs and that she would continue to do so. Although he loves her dearly, the song has a powerful ending, "The day I left no words were said/She was sound asleep on our double bed/And I let her lie, I let her lie." If that song doesn't send chills up your spine, nothing will.

By the way, this album was co-produced by country music legend, Randy Travis, who is Singletary's own "not-quite-so-ordinary" hero . . . Keep your eyes on Daryle Singletary. He is going places!

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