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Trent Tomlinson

Country Is My Rock – 2006 (Lyric Street)

Reviewed by Jacquilynne Schlesier

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CDs by Trent Tomlinson

Trent Tomlinson is a veteran Nashville songwriter, having endured a number of publishing deals before landing a record contract. These songs reflect that - they're clever and crafted, but sometimes empty.

He starts with an anthem of sorts, "Country is My Rock," declaring his allegiance to Hank, Hag and screaming guitars. It's fair warning of what's to come: many more screaming guitars.

Tomlinson does pause for some emotional moments. On "Just Might Have Her Radio On," he argues a counterpoint to every song about driving away from a failed relationship. "A Good Run" is a wistful remembrance of better times, while "One Wing in the Fire" offers a prayer for a man more sinner than saved.

"Cheatin' on My Honky Tonk," "Hey Batter Batter" and "Drunker Than Me' are pure fluff - slick and empty. "The Next Time" aspires to be a twist on the 'dark, painful side' of recovering from a breakup, but just comes off as mean.

The backing tracks are undistinguished, as are the vocals, leaving it up to the songwriting to carry the album. Where Tomlinson adds genuine emotion, it's more than sufficient, but often, it just sounds like hard work.