Pamela Roz

Evenings & Weekends


September 28, 1999
Country, Adult Contemporary, Contemporary Pop/Rock

Album Review

When his popularity reached a plateau in the late '90s, Garth Brooks knew it was time to try something new, deciding to become somebody new: Chris Gaines, a brooding, leather-clad rock star. When Brooks' new persona and his album was revealed to the public, they were unforgiving - they didn't think that he was playing a role, they simply though he'd lost his mind. Granted, the story behind Chris Gaines -- both the invented biography and the reasons why Brooks decided to become Gaines -- is more interesting than the record itself. Instead of encapsulating mainstream pop from the mid-'80s through the end of the '90s, thereby sounding like a true "greatest hits," it's basically the state of adult pop at the close of the '90s. Essentially, the record is anchored in the acoustic balladry Babyface constructed for Eric Clapton's "Change the World," with little touches of Mellencamp rock, lite Prince funk, and Beatlesque pop-craft. While the tunes might not have much flair, they're all sturdy, whether it's the silky ballad "Lost in You," the self-conscious Beatles tribute "Maybe," the folky "It Don't Matter to the Sun," or the Wallflowers-styled "Unsigned Letter." Judged as Brooks' first pop album, it's pretty good, and if it had been released that way, it likely would have been embraced by a wide audience. As it stands, it's an album more fascinating for what it is than for the music itself.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. That's the Way I Remember It
  2. Lost in You
  3. Snow in July
  4. Driftin' Away
  5. Way of the Girl
  6. Unsigned Letter
  7. It Don't Matter to the Sun
  8. Right Now
  9. Main Street
  10. White Flag
  11. Digging for Gold
  12. Maybe
  13. My Love Tells Me So