Frazier River (BNA, 1996)
Reviewed by Robert Loy
It's common knowledge that you must look like a movie star to sing country these days, and lead vocalist Danny Frazier would have absolutely no trouble passing himself off as Val Kilmer. Fortunately, that's not the only thing he's got going for him. He has a boomingly dramatic - almost operatic - voice, something sadly missing in country since Gary Morris vanished. His voice shows to best advantage on songs like "Last Request" starting as a seemingly simple call to a DJ, only to slowly and chillingly reveal itself as an oral suicide note, and "Heaven is Smiling," proving happy songs of love that lasts don't have to be dull. Frazier's voice even rescues lesser songs like "That's Why I'm Here" (moral: there's no place like home) and "Money Don't Make People" (moral: you can't buy happiness) from becoming the banal ditties they might be if another set of vocal cords were in charge. The rest of the band is good, but never get a chance to spread their wings. The producers obviously didn't want anything to divert attention away from Frazier's voice. You really can't blame them.