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Charlie Major

Here and Now – 1996 (Imprint)

Reviewed by Brian Wahlert

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CDs by Charlie Major

Already having won every possible country music award in Canada, Charlie Major hopes that this American debut will expand his popularity.

He definitely has the songs to do it. Major wrote all but one of the 12 mostly midtempo and uptempo tunes on this disc of material released in Canada, and he succeeds by using simple, unpretentious lyrics and commonplace characters to craft hard-hitting songs about everyday life.

"It Can't Happen to Me," written after Major's 16-year-old nephew died a drug-related death, perfectly captures the dangerous devil-may-care attitude of many teenagers.

"It's Lonely I Can't Stand" has a pleasant acoustic guitar that belies the song's melancholy lyrics, and "Forever in Your Eyes" is a pretty, upbeat love song written for his wife. As good a lyricist as Major is, however, his melodies are not particularly interesting, making a ditty like "For the Money" a throwaway. His voice doesn't distinguish itself either. It has shades of Bruce Springsteen, albeit less gritty and slightly more country. Still, Major's country-rock writing and performing make him far more interesting than most of current country radio.