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"Sinners Like Me"

From Countrymusic.about.com:

According to Eric Church, "If you listen to this, you'll find out who I am."

I have listened and I like who Eric is. Not afraid to "go way out and pick a side," he tells it as he see's it on this first cut, "Before She Does." Losing the girl he considered, "a real good thing," he compares her return to Jesus coming back first. With a hard driving drum track and catchy guitar licks, you find it being played over and over in your head.

This highly anticipated release comes at the time to see it's first single, "How 'Bout You" reach #14 and still climbing the country charts. It begins with some catchy Banjo licks and like a few other songs included, "These Boots," and the title track, "Sinners Like Me," gives us a glimpse of what this southern born, raised and proud man is all about.

Stories About My Youth
Being complete about who he is, Eric had to include some songs that told the stories of his youth. "What I Almost Was," "The Hard Way," and my favorite, "Two Pink Lines." They all tell a different story but have in common turning points in Eric's life.

Being inspired by the movie, The Green Mile, Eric has included this beautifully written song about a death row inmates last day, "Lightning." A bittersweet story with an easy going, light melody.

Inspiration takes another form as we are treated to "Pledge Allegiance To The Hag." Featuring Merle Haggard, this song takes us to the Cross-Eyed Cricket Waterin' Hole a place where everyone pays homage to Merle. If Eric's there, I'd sure love to visit someday.

Song List:

1. Before She Does
2. Sinners Like Me
3. How 'Bout You
4. These Boots
5. What I Almost Was
6. Hard Way, The
7. Guys Like Me
8. Lighting
9. Can't Take It With You
10. Pledge Allegiance To The Hag
11. Two Pink Lines
12. Livin' Part Of Life

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By Randy Lewis:

It often seems that novice country singers are required to wear their beliefs on their sleeves, or at least trumpet them in their songs, as a way of creating an instant bond with an audience all too willing to throw its loyalty behind anyone whose flag flies the right colors.

This Granite Falls, N.C., native does just that on his enticing major-label debut album, which has just entered the country album Top 10. Unlike so many ultimately undistinguished singers who've come before him, he expresses himself in ways obvious enough to snag the casual listener yet subtle enough to make the perceptive listener dig in to figure out who he really is and what he really believes.

On the surface he's part Bible-believing, parent-loving, hard-drinking hell-raiser la Hank Jr., Travis Tritt and Toby Keith, part sensitive modern cowboy like ultra-lovable Keith Urban.

The juxtaposition makes for intriguing contrasts, lending the songs, all of which he wrote or co-wrote, greater dimension than we've come to expect out of pigeonhole-happy Nashville in recent years.

The title song is a pulsing country rocker that casts him as the latest in a long family line of bad boys, but Church winds up widening the net to place his protagonist in the same boat as most of humanity. In "Pledge Allegiance to the Hag," he dutifully doffs his Stetson to Merle Haggard in an age when Garth Brooks seems to be the role model for many.

Some of his canniest writing shows up in "How 'Bout You," which at first sounds dogmatic about his long list of beliefs. But when he punctuates each unequivocal statement with a "How about you?" suddenly he's trying to create a dialogue rather than provoke an argument.

He's been overeagerly compared to Waylon Jennings, John Prine and Haggard, but some of his songs echo those of other musicians more than establish his own individual stamp: "These Boots" walks ground covered in the Everly Brothers' "These Shoes," and "What I Almost Was" skillfully revisits the theme of Garth Brooks' "Unanswered Prayers."

But in a quieter way, Church brings a freshness to mainstream country similar to what Gretchen Wilson did in her barnstorming of Nashville's doors a few years back. And anyone who can do that and still get on the radio deserves a hearty "Amen."

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Coming in March


1.  Eric Church - Ain''t Killed Me Yet
2.  Eric Church - Lotta Boot Left To Fill
3.  Eric Church - Young And Wild
4.  Eric Church - Where She Told Me To Go
5.  Eric Church - Longer Gone
6.  Eric Church - Love Your Love The Most
7.  Eric Church - Smoke A Little Smoke
8.  Eric Church - Without You Here
9.  Eric Church - You Make It Look So Easy
10.  Eric Church - Carolina
11.  Eric Church - Hell On The Heart
12.  Eric Church - Those I''ve Loved

"I come from a long line of Sinners like me"-EC