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Sawyer Brown

Can You Hear Me Now – 2002 (Curb)

Reviewed by Tom Netherland

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CDs by Sawyer Brown

When the first sentence in Sawyer Brown's current press release reads, "they've been called the Rolling Stones of country music, and really, that's no exaggeration," you know there's a problem. Call it ego, call it misinformation or just plain stupidity.

Whichever, SB's 18th album, "Can You Hear Me Now," just doesn't cut it. However you wish to view them, as a poor rock band or an even worse never-will-be country band, their latest 10 tunes strikes an awful stench. From the opening title track, a blatant and blissfully poor stab at a Stones-like sound, vocalist Mark Miller & Co. go nowhere fast. They exude cardboard ("Hard Hard World") and curdled milk ("Someone"), lob lyrically lame ballads ("Come Back Baby") and even a goopy gospel-ish "I Got A Plan."

Fueled on lyrical clichTs ("I see that river, and I see the shore") and this year's best example of bad lyrics ("Looking for an I, Oh I you girl, she's an I oh I, I'm looking for an I, she's an I, I got to have you...").

Sawyer Brown's latest smacks of a polecat promenade.