Highways & Dance Halls(Capitol)
Last time we heard from Mr. England his name was Ty, not Tyler, and his recording career was tied in knots. Capitol Records was experiencing corporate turbulence, not exactly a fertile field for building new acts like Ty. Ty-turned-Tyler has finally picked up the pieces of that broken career and released a new album. The producer? None other than Tyler's old bandmate from way back in their Oklahoma days, Garth Brooks.
Tyler's career previously peaked prematurely with his 1995 debut single, the No. 3 "Should've Asked Her Faster," which is included here in a new version with backing vocals and guitar work from Steve Wariner. Tyler's voice has gained maturity and strength over the past five years, and the album is bursting with potential singles.
It kicks off with the fast-moving "My Baby No Esta Aqui," sounding like a blend of Mexican and Cajun with a dash of Bakersfield thrown in for good measure. Tyler excels on the mournful ballad of self-deception "She's Gonna Miss Me When He's Gone." Bruce Robison's "She Don't Care About Me" gets a crafty interpretation with a feigned nonchalance masking the downer lyrics. Another Robison creation, "Travelin' Soldier," chronicles a Vietnam tragedy involving a young life and young love lost. A powerhouse chorus enriches "I Drove Her To Dallas," possibly to be released as the first single off the album in January.
Kudos to Garth for some keen production, and to Tyler for finally completing this musical journey through some highways and dance halls well worth visiting.