Georgia Middleman,
Endless Possibilities
(Giant, 2000)

Endless Possibilities is the first album from country singer Georgia Middleman. It's firmly in the current style of country, with definite pop elements but an overall country sound. Middleman wrote or co-wrote half of the twelve songs on this CD, and the rest complement these well in sound and theme.

All the songs focus on relationships: beginning, continuing, struggling and ending. One of the things I like the best about country music is that on the whole, it includes more songs focused on life as an adult than pop does; while pop's focus on life for teens and twenties can be fun for those of us who are older, at times I like to hear songs that more accurately reflect my own current life stages and concerns.

"Someone Who Loves You" is a beautiful song celebrating an established relationship, in which one person is reassuring the other that he's not going anywhere.

Still, troubled relationships are a common theme, in country and on this CD. "No Place Like Home," released as a single, is sung by a woman leaving her unsatisfying relationship for "...someplace that's no place like home." "Rain On a River" might have been her song before she decided to leave; in it, she compares her lack of feeling for the man she's currently with, to her passion for a new man in her life. In "What Are You Gonna Do" a woman challenges her partner to act to improve the relationship and not leave it all to her; this song also has some interesting rhythms and instrumental accompaniment.

"There Ain't No Good In Goodbye" is a standout. Middleman's voice, the lyrics, the melody, and the accompaniment work together seamlessly in this mourning of an ended love.

The thrills and beauty of a new love are also themes. Both "Fallin'" and "Tap Dancing On The Highwire" celebrate the wonders of happy and heartfelt romance.

Single life has its own set of headaches. "Closets" is a cry from the heart of a woman who is refusing to wait around in case the man for whom she's second best can't find anyone closer to his ideal. "A New Pair of Shoes" is what this woman knows will comfort her when her love has left; it's both funny and touching. "Thrilled" describes yet another boring evening in the life of a single woman; it would have been improved by a bit more humor, I think, but I'm not really the target audience for it. I suspect it works beautifully live.

The last song on the CD, "Kick Down The Door," is a fast and lively song with a great tune and beat. As a song, it's a lot of fun. The lyrics do remind me of a question I have: why do many women seem to prefer a pushy guy to a considerate one? In this song, the singer rejects men who bring her flowers and demonstrate thoughtfulness, holding out for "more: one who kicks down the door, and lets himself in ... chemistry is not polite, I'm waiting for my Mr. Right to kick down the door." I suppose it all comes down to taste, but the sentiment does seem to me to be asking for trouble in the long run. It's a great song, though, if one disregards the message, or doesn't mind it.

"Michelangelo" didn't work very well for me. While the sentiment -- resisting limits that others try to place on one's life and activities -- is a reasonable one, the connections didn't quite coalesce into a whole.

Endless Possibilities is an excellent debut album with a number of enjoyable songs. People who like modern country will like it, and I look forward to hearing more from Middleman in the future.

[ by Amanda Fisher ]