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Elizabeth Cook

Balls – 2007 (31 Tigers)

Reviewed by Stuart Munro

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CDs by Elizabeth Cook

Elizabeth Cook has come up with another album of unvarnished country music, delivered by her thick-as-molasses twang and solid, stripped-down honky-tonk backing.

The album is stuffed to the gills with reasons to listen that ought to attract the attention of anyone partial to contemporary iterations of traditional country.

There are shuffles galore, from "He's Got No Heart" and its classic wordplay ("he's got no heart that I know of... I'd shoot him down if I knew where to aim") to the slow-burning "Don't Go Borrowin' Trouble." There's the beautiful, acoustic-country duet she does with Bobby Bare, Jr., and the bluegrassy "Mama's Prayers." There's Cook turning the Velvet Underground's "Sunday Morning" into a beautiful expression of blue country.

No doubt what's going to attract the most attention, though, is the album's title song, which is about exactly what you think it is. But if the image of a diminutive spitfire like Cook singing "sometimes it takes balls to be a woman" doesn't bring a big grin to your face, then you're missing another part of your anatomy - your funny bone.