A Time-Is-Tight Twist in a Country Veteran's Sobriety

Terri tears it down.
photo: Andrew Southam
Terri tears it down.

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Terri Clark
Life Goes On
Mercury
Stream "Life Goes On"
Stream "Damn Right" (Windows Media)

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Deft and blunt, realistic and yet sexy, country veteran Terri Clark is also good at setting bass sounds (guitar and drums) to rolling from one mandatory rim shot to the next, adding not only juice but nuance. For instance, bass elements growl and purr (while higher-pitched ones yowl and slur) at a b-a-a-d man in "Easy on the Eyes, Hard on the Heart." Terri's Greatest Hits 1994–2004 has 14 keepers out of 14 tracks, and '03's Pain to Kill has 11 out of 12, but the new Life Goes On has only six or seven out of 12. The first single, "She Didn't Have Time," is about not having time to waste. (So she doesn't. The End.) Such (newly dominant) wishful thinking tends to tighten concepts and performances too much, until "I Wish He'd Been Drinkin' Whiskey" sends Terri down a bassment staircase, toward a husband's cold new sobriety. And a refreshing twist in her own: The "solace" of "Everybody's Gotta Go Sometime" sports a wickedly bouncy riff, and "Tear It All Down," though thematically "cautionary," actually sounds (via air-hammer drumming) like it wants to end this disc. (So it does. The real end!) Yay!

 
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