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music recorĀ· Reviews by GavinJames Campbell, MusicEditor George Jones The Cold Hard Truth Asylum, 1999 cd 62368-2, $16.98 For quite some time George Jones has blasted commercial country stations for preferring tight butts and slick packaging over proven, if older, talent. Of course he's right, but then again he hasn't done anything in quite some time that really stands out. Well, Shania and Garth, move over, 'cause The Possum's back. In the finest album he's done in ages, Jones sticks close to what he does best: heartsick ballads and honky-tonkin'. His twisting, snaking voice wrings every emotional drop out of a phrase, while fiddles and steel guitars wail their commiseration. That he's lived his songs has always given them added poignancy, and diere's perhaps no song on this album more poignant than the opening cut, "Choices," in which he decries the effect liquor has had on his life. Yet diere's more than heartbreak that gives diis album its emotional punch. "Ain't Love a Lot Like That" and "Sinners and Saints" allowJones to cut loose on some toe-tapping numbers. The liner material includes pictures (with his mama, as an Army man, with dozens of celebrities) spanning Jones's remarkable career. Yet Cold Hard Truth doesn't merely further cementJones's place in country music's past, it gives him a place in its continued growth. 91 ...


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