While his moist-eyed debut, Hard Rain Don't Last, and the cheerier follow-up, I Miss My Friends, got him CMA recognition, last year's Have You Forgotten? spelled flag-waving crossover for Darryl Worley. As much as the title track pandered to warmongers, most of the album was just reruns from earlier records. Bleeding hearts will be pleased that on his new self-titled record, he's stopped saluting so he can get back to silly love songs and mooning for the good old days. All of which makes you wonder about his commitment to the cause. It's probably just as well, since he's looser and writing better now. He hates and celebrates his family, he can't stand day jobs, and his ballads are bearable. But while "Wake Up America" is only a weak-kneed plea to help teen druggies, Worley's first truly meaningful political statement is "I Love Her, She Hates Me": His buddy doesn't give a shit about Wall Street or football rivalries because he's drowning his lovelorn sorrows in booze. Like it or not, though "Have You Forgotten?" struck a chord with the conservative electorate, millions who didn't vote were probably thinking more like "I Love Her." And that's some significant demographic to ponder.
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