CD REVIEW OF
"TIME MARCHES ON"
(Atlantic Records, 1996)
by Sandra L. Toney
What can a person say about the spectacular, but underrated, country
superstar, Tracy Lawrence? He is extremely talented, cute as a
button, and has a rebel attitude that shines through in his music.
His songs can make you feel terribly sad and melancholy or ready
to take on the world. Each selection on every album Lawrence has
made (this is his fifth album), seems like it is coming straight
from the heart of Lawrence himself. It is as if he's experienced
all the heartache and dejection that his ballads represent as
well as those ready-to-take-on-the-world, upbeat tunes he excels
at . . .
But underrated? Yes, I feel Lawrence has been virtually ignored
by the various country music awards industries. It's a shame,
too, because his music is a new kind of country heavily sprinkled
with that classic country and western feel. On Lawrence's fifth
album, Time Marches On, he does perhaps some of his best work
to date. The title cut is a fabulous example of Tracy Lawrence
at his best: songs with heart and meaning. The single tells about
how times change and how we deal with those changes, "The
South moves North, the North moves South/A star is born, a star
burns out/The only thing that stays the same/Is everything changes,
everything changes . . ."
The other side of Lawrence, the rebel side, is apparent on this
album as well. The foot-tappin' sure-to-be-a-hit single, "Excitable
Boy," is my personal idea of Tracy Lawrence in real life.
He literally screams out the chorus, "I've been a renegade/Since
the day I was born/I get a little carried away/Never meant to
do nobody no harm/I gotta rock it, I can't stop it/I ain't about
to change." Country music doesn't get much better . . .
Still, Lawrence is probably a better crooner than rocker as he
exhibits in such songs as "Stars Over Texas," "I
Know That Hurt By Heart," "Somewhere Between the Moon
and You," and "If You Love Me" (this has GOT to
become a hit on the charts). If I had to pick the best song on
the album, it would most likely be the opening cut, "Is That
a Tear," that tells about a getting a call on his answering
machine from an ex-lover and thinking he hears some regret in
her voice as he laments, "Said she's sorry that she missed
me/And she's been doin' just fine/I've run it back and heard her
say/Those words a hundred times/But somethin' makes me wonder/Is
she happy with her choice/Or is that a tear I hear in her voice?"
There's not enough good things I can say about Tracy Lawrence's
"Time Marches On." If you don't already own it, run,
don't walk, to the nearest music store. If you are one of the
fortunate country listeners who has it sitting in their music
library, take it out, place it in your CD or cassette player,
and be prepared to enjoy yourself while some of your quality "Time"
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