In the last several years, major labels have been quietly returning to some of the veteran artists they once abandoned. Capitol recently re-signed Merle Haggard and Kenny Rogers, and now RCA has rediscovered Ronnie Milsap, who parted ways with the label in the early 1990s after racking up 35 No. 1 hits there. Just as on Kenny’s Water & Bridges, Ronnie has been paired with a contemporary producer (Keith Stegall, who has manned hits for Alan Jackson and Terri Clark) and hooked up with a set of thoroughly modern mainstream songs from Nashville’s current top writers.
Ronnie fares pretty well in this fresh environment, mostly thanks to his ever-welcome soulful voice and the palpable enthusiasm with which he delivers these 11 solid but ho-hum tunes. There is a mild hint of a theme here, as the track list leans toward lyrics about reflection and taking stock of a life lived—appropriate for a man of 63. A bit more of that gravity and a little less fluffy fare, like the CD’s debut single, “Local Girls,” might have made My Life a triumph. As it stands, it’s just nice to have Ronnie playing in the majors again.