Drivin N Cryin: Drivin N Cryin

Drivin N Cryin: Drivin N Cryin

Over the course of seven albums and more than a decade, the Georgia band Drivin N Cryin has made some appealingly ragged Southern-rock anthems, as well as some remarkably tender love songs. It's even ventured into Def Leppard-style hard rock, on 1993's awful Smoke, which should give you an idea of the group's occasional identity crises. On Drivin N Cryin's new self-titled album—a collection of DNC compositions both new and old—the group seems to possess a newfound knowledge of where it wants to be, sticking primarily to crowd-pleasing, middle-of-the-road rock songs. Most fall somewhere between singer Kevn Kinney's raw, shambling solo records and the band's slickest appeals for radio play, and the album as a whole sounds solid, consistent and assured, albeit without any of the ballads that have often served as DNC's finest moments. Due in part to the presence of some songs written before the band was even formed, Drivin N Cryin possesses many symptoms of First Album Syndrome: Not only is it self-titled, but it's idealistic enough to speak out for the downtrodden on songs like "I've Got A Message," and it contains the group's first cover, John Denver's "Leavin' On A Jet Plane." Hell, the album even has a song called "Drivin N Cryin"—how many seventh albums contain songs named for the bands that sing them? Drivin N Cryin has always deserved attention, and this fresh start is a safe, solid entry in its canon.

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