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My World (Capitol Nashville)

Album for 8-17 to 8-23
Album review for 8-17 to 8-23

A creeping drum-machine beat and growling organ give way to a lilting wash of pennywhistle, then a voice eases in like warm syrup sliding down a stack of flapjacks: It took me by surprise ...

Cyndi Thomson's debut hit, "What I Really Meant To Say," has taken a lot of listeners by surprise on its way to the Top 10. Thoroughly modern yet totally country - Cyndi couldn't hide the Georgia drawl in her voice if she wanted to - the song has been a welcome relief on radio and video airwaves saturated with the same old thing.

Now for the really good news: Cyndi's first album, My World, more than follows through on the promise of "What I Really Meant To Say." Highlights include the elegant ballad "If You Could Only See," the unnervingly sexy "If You Were Mine" and the funny "Things I Would Do," which audaciously flirts with hip-hop before breaking into a full-bore country chorus, banjo and all.

Like other smart, forward-thinking acts of recent years, from the Dixie Chicks to Mark McGuinn, Cyndi Thomson stylishly demonstrates that country doesn't have to be stuck in the past to be honest, and doesn't have to be bland to be popular.

- Chris Neal

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