I Love It

by: Craig Morgan

In 2000, Craig Morgan dipped his toes into the current of country music with a self-titled album on a dying Nashville label. That album yielded "Something to Write Home About," which introduced Morgan to a CMT video audience and modest radio airplay. Now backed by Broken Bow Records, Morgan's first single, "Almost Home," from the new I Love It disc, is a mere sampling of a pleasingly diverse CD. On the fun side, Morgan sings about the almighty dollar in "Money," a real toe-tapper. "Look at Us," with its plucky string riffs, has a rolling melody fit for head bopping, as does "Where Has My Hometown Gone," about revisiting a strange and now unfamiliar stomping ground with a mini-mall where squirrel hunters used to stalk their prey. The subject matter may not always be weighty, but the writing (Morgan co-wrote most the cuts) is believable and well-crafted. Especially noteworthy are ballads like "Every Friday Afternoon," which may well be the album's prime cut. Morgan captures the heart-wrenching duplicity of two stories about letting go: one about the girl leaving the boy seamlessly interwoven with the story of a father and child. Because of his tenure in the United States Army, it is no surprise that Morgan includes "God, Family and Country." In the post 9/11 world, a token patriotic cut graces almost every album, but the singer's experiences justify the patriotism. It is obvious that Craig Morgan's career is taking on new meaning and direction with the release of I Love It. The material is solid, the performance is quality, and the collection is worthy of attention. ~ Rick Cohoon

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