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TuskeegeeI thought I would do an occasional series of posts where I give first reactions to CDs I come across at the library, or through amazon. So, here are my first reactions, typed in real time as I listened to each track:

– I love his choice of duet partners. He had a nice mix of current and classic artists.

– I didn’t recognize “You Are” until they got to the chorus. I think was a perfect song for Blake to sing on. I think they managed to keep the spirit of the original while modifying it for country audiences.

-“Say You, Say Me” is my favorite of Lionel’s songs. I love the way he and Jason Aldean sound together on this one. It’s interesting to hear how different they managed to make some of these songs, as this one takes on a bit of a harder musical edge than the original later in the track.

– “Stuck On You” is, as of this moment, the one that stays closest to the original musically. I had no problem at all recognizing this from the first note. Darius sounds amazing on it, and I love that he is still going strong in country. He’s a great artist and one of the few who has managed to keep going after trying the whole country crossover thing (Jessica Simpson, I am looking at you.)

– “Deep River Woman”. Not very familiar with this song, but anything with those Little Big Town harmonies works for me! 🙂

-My Love

-“Dancing On The Ceiling”. Not a huge departure from the original. Rascall Flatts was the perfect choice to duet on this one. They are right at home doing fun, uptempo songs like this.

-“Hello.” Jennifer Nettles is an awesome vocalist, and this song shows a different side to her vocals, much as her appearance on ABC’s Duets did. She is so versatile. I like how they went for an almost bluesy, hard edge to the song for this version. It brings a bit of a darker, more dramatic edge to the song that, for me, fits the content better.

-“Sail On”. Okay song, and Tim McGraw sounds nice in it. Not one of my favorites.

-“Endless Love.” This was sort of Shania Twain’s re-introduction to the music world, as she’d been under the radar for years following some personal turmoil. I have to say, it was a great version. They gave it a sweet and mellow sound that makes me smile.

-“Lady.” Kenny Rogers. Do I really have to say more? ::happy sigh::

-“Easy Like Sunday Morning.” What an awesome pair he and Willie make. I also love how the past two tracks stayed a bit truer to the original versions.

-“All Night Long.” If “Say You, Say Me” is my all-time favorite Lionel song, this one is a very close second. I think this version did the original justice and who else but Jimmy Buffet could’ve dueted on this one?

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