Big House - Travelin' Kind
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Travelin' Kind (MCA, 1998)

Big House

Reviewed by Tom Netherland

Sophomore albums often prove to be a blessing or a curse. Critical, if not commercial, success surrounded Big House's debut, winning them along the way a resounding endorsement from Buck Owens.

Buck may want to hold the applause for the follow-up. Somewhere between The Eagles and the Bakersfield Sound lies Big House: big guitars, big beats and harmony as thick and sweet as molasses. While their sound deviates little from the debut, the songs fairly lack the substance so prevalent last time. Other than a grooving cover of Hank Williams' "There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight," the bulk of the album's 11 tunes sound tired, not quite complete tunes in need of some fine tuning.

Case in point: "Don't Believe Everything You're Told" is a poppy tune that, while copping a snippet of The Beatles' famous guitar line from "I Want To Hold Your Hand," points out we should walk our own line through life, leaving the world's naysayers in the dust. Ironic, don't you think?

From the title track to "Never Again," "Second Hand Love," and others, even the most casual of listener may be compelled to suggest to Big House that an outside infusion of songs may be in order.

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