Careful What You Wish For (RMG Records)

We haven't heard much from Ricky Lynn Gregg since the mid-'90s, when he hit the Top 40 with "If I Had A Cheatin' Heart." Now the distinctively long-haired Texan is back with his first album in seven years, and it features his trademark blend of rock and country undiminished by time.

The most immediate attention-getters on Careful What You Wish For are a quartet of rockers: "Can't Do A Thing About You" is a tight number about an on-again, off-again relationship; "Tornado" is a zany song about life in a trailer court; "Jeans" is really about the way she fills them out; and Ricky showcases his pickin' skills on "Let The Guitar Do The Talkin'."

But Ricky impresses most with his gentle, emotional delivery of Careful's ballads. The George Jones-ish "One" has a smooth, infectious chorus and pretty piano fills, while Ricky's voice and a sliding steel guitar combine effectively in "Don't Call Home."

The patience of die-hard RLG fans who've endured his long dry spell has been rewarded: Careful What You Wish For is worth the wait.

- D.L. Jay Bedford

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