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Julie Roberts

Men & Mascara – 2006 (Mercury)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Julie Roberts

In addition to "Men & Mascara," the ingredient list for this work should also note whisky & beer and pain & suffering as equally essential elements used in the creation of such a consistently sad CD. It opens with "Paint and Pillows," which describes the futility of attempting to cover up the scents and sights of a lover's former lover. The title track, "Men & Mascara," describes two things that both run. But mascara can't trickle along cheeks if no tears are shed, and make no mistake about it: Julie Roberts sings these laments with plenty of facial wetness in her voice. Roberts may not have powerful lungs, like either Trisha Yearwood or Faith Hill, but she is just as emotive as Yearwood, and a far more convincing interpreter than Hill has ever been.

This traditionally country album is hurtin' music, and Roberts puts cracks into already broken hearts with each and every painful note. It's consistent almost to a fault because it's like an all-day rainy day, without even the hint of a break in the clouds. It's so sad, you might even want to catch the latest comedy at your local Cineplex for some much-needed comic relief.