Lost In The Feeling (MCA)
Celebrating his tenth year of recording hits, Mark Chesnutt now sets the stage for another successful decade with this stunning benchmark album. Since first hitting the charts in 1990 with "Too Cold At Home," Mark has been a study in professional evolution. Painfully shy - a trait sometimes mistaken for aloofness - he has gained confidence and self-credibility with each album. Still no social butterfly, here he displays a new laid-back, comfortable feel about his music.
Mark puts his unique vocal stamp on Conway Twitty's 1983 smash "Lost In The Feeling," aided by gracefully sliding steel guitar licks and the sweetening sound of strings. He also mines a masterpiece with a scorching version of Gene Watson's 1975 steamy saga of carnal delights, "Love In The Hot Afternoon."
Since those early Chesnutt chestnuts, Mark has honed his skills, broadening his range, varying his pace within songs and sharpening his interpretative powers. The heartfelt angst that set the tone for his 1993 hit "Almost Goodbye" is renewed - and magnified - here in "Go Away," "Halfway Back To Birmingham" and the devastating breakup ballad "Try Being Me." You tell me this is hard for you, he sings with a mixture of passion and pain, you should try being me. Mark gives a jaunty, carefree ride to the life-and-death lyrics of "It Pays Big Money" and finally wraps up his finest album yet with "Somewhere Out There Tonight," a wistful blending of loneliness and hope.
-- Gerry Wood