Never Going Back

Never Going Back

One of country music’s acclaimed balladeers celebrates his 10th studio album with a return to the country rock roots that first inspired him. Collin Raye began making music heavily influenced by classic rock bands like the Eagles and Lynyrd Skynyrd, so he recorded Never Going Back in Alabama's historic Muscle Shoals and it sounds like some of the old ghosts seeped into these songs. Just listen to the first few bars of the opening title-track. Yes, that’s a cowbell holding it down next to a guitar that sounds imported from Joe Walsh’s 1972 debut Barnstorm, and if you listen closely the melody plays like something that could have been penned by J.D. Souther. The beachy twang of “Don’t Tell Me You’re Not In Love” recalls Don Henley and Glen Frey’s “Tequila Sunrise” right down to the airtight harmonies, electric piano and rhythmic castanets. “Mid-Life Chrysler” is one of the catchiest twang-rockers here with a grinding organ and witty lyrics that poke fun at older guys trying to turn back the clock. But fans of the man’s ballads need not worry. “Take Care of You” is classic Raye spinning sap into gold.

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