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Jack Ingram

This is It – 2007 (Big Machine)

Reviewed by Rick Bell

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CDs by Jack Ingram

Before slapping the sellout tag on Jack Ingram for recording Hinder's poppy power ballad "Lips of an Angel" or chalking it up to a new record company's desperate move to make its star male sound hip and contemporary, give it a listen. Like Ingram says in the liner notes, a good song is a good song.

Problem is, if it becomes his trademark song, much like Mark Chesnutt just can't shake "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" despite everything else he's done, Ingram will have to grit his teeth, smile and sing it night in and night out. And it'd be a shame because like Ingram's surprisingly long career, his latest album is filled with great songs delivered with passion and conviction.

"Great Divide" someday soon will stand as one of the classic odes to Ingram's home state of Texas, while "Ava Adele" is a sweet ballad that daddy Jack probably sings to his little girl every night. Ingram gets a songwriting assist from Todd Snider on "Easy as 1, 2, 3 (Part II)," and vocal help from Sheryl Crow on "Hold On."

For years Ingram has stood on the outside of country music looking in. Many on the inside realized he's an amazing talent, and the new album will open the door for all to see. And if it's because Ingram recorded a power pop ballad, so be it. Like he said, it's a good song.