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Jann Browne

Count Me In – 1995 (Cross Three)

Reviewed by Don Yates

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CDs by Jann Browne

This is Jann Browne's least country-sounding record yet. Browne's new record is still more country than a lot of what comes out of Music Row nowadays, but without neo-trad producer Steve Fishell behind the boards this time, Dennis Caplinger and Browne produced a record whose sound is always tasteful, but rarely engaging. While her first two albums supplemented her own songs with a healthy amount of well-chosen covers, Browne wrote or co-wrote every one of the 12 songs here, all of which are fine examples of neo-trad '90's country that could stand to dig a little deeper. It's easy to admire Browne's new songs - all are well-constructed and intelligently written . It's also too easy to remain emotionally detached from them. Her vocals are as strong as ever (try imagining Emmylou Harris with a little more twang), and while a fair amount of the country grit has been washed from her sound, the accompaniment provides more than adequate support for the songs. They, however, contain too many generic rock gestures ("Hearts on the Blue Train," "Ain't No Promise" and the title track) and not enough of the deeply-felt honky-tonk soul that's powered Browne's best music.