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Billy Gilman (Image, 2006)

Billy Gilman

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

Billy Gilman, the formerly charming boy star of 11, is now in his teens. Naturally, his repertoire has matured beyond those puppy love songs from his high profile and precocious youth.

The disc also still retains plenty of lyrical innocence. It opens with one called "Billy the Kid," which sports the faux-threatening line: "I'm still wanted for what I did." But Gilman is no gangsta, nosiree, old school or otherwise.

This latest CD retains plenty of thematic innocence, but also suffers from lyrical awkwardness in places too, such as on "Gonna Find Love." He sings, "Hey girl, take the wheel," then later adds: "What I want is to park this car/When I'm with you/And wait till the cops come around." Is that supposed to be romantic?

Musically, the track "Let Me Remind You Again" rolls with honky-tonk piano and steel guitar and a Patsy Cline/k.d. lang quality. The western swing-styled duet with Pam Tillis that is "Almost Over (Getting' Over You)" might just make you ask, 'So, which one's the girl?'

But eventually (hopefully!), Gilman's voice will deepen enough to differentiate his singing from that of the gals, although one is not yet sure if Gilman will replace his youthful novelty act reputation with country star status. Gilman better find more memorable words to sing if Billy the Kid ever wants grow into Billy the Man.

CDs by Billy Gilman

Billy Gilman, 2006 Everything And More, 2005

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