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Mark Chesnutt

Mark Chesnutt – 2002 (Columbia)

Reviewed by John Lupton

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CDs by Mark Chesnutt

Self-titled albums are usually the sign of a new, emerging artist on the scene, but Mark Chesnutt is anything but a new face. Although some would say he came in on the back end of the late-'80s wave that crested with Clint Black, Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson, the fact is that Chesnutt has spent the last decade being one of the most consistently good - and most consistently successful - pure singers in the country music business. Like his fellow Texans George Strait and George Jones (who also hails originally from Beaumont), Chesnutt has built his career on choosing and arranging material that best suits his voice and style.

Chesnutt is as smooth as ever on the 11 tracks. On the whole, it's about average for him, but again like Strait and Jones, it's an average that's usually a cut above. And, as always, he's a good bit heavier on the fiddles and pedal steels than is the Nashville norm these days. Look for "I'm In Love With A Married Woman" and "My Dreams" to be the strongest cuts, but it's pretty much always a pleasure to listen to this guy croon.