Steal Another Day
Grand Ole Opry mainstay Steve Wariner knows how to work his generic country magic to perfection. There’s nothing even remotely new about this, but seeing that Wariner has managed to move away from his dime-a-dozen karaoke country to a more organic sounding, blue-collar twang, his admirers will surely regard this as a revelation of sorts.
Mainstream country doesn’t necessarily need to be a constantly risk-taking endeavor, but it would be nice to see the music at least make a claim for either validity or vitality. And while Wariner does try to move beyond the too-predictable conventions of Nashville, he lacks the will (or the guts) to go all the way. The Latin tinge of “Kiss Me Anyway” bears evidence of this. “Ride This Rocket” proves his ability to let loose once in a while, and have fun with it. Yet, the primary aim still seems to be getting picked up by country radio.
The album closes with an odd five-track miniature best-of set, with Wariner confidently proving that he’s matured over the years, and that his producers are doing a better job covering up his blandness these days. Old time country fans and fans of Nashville country in general will love this. The rest of us will do perfectly fine without it.
Steve Wariner: http://www.stevewariner.com/