The Wilkinsons,
Here & Now
(Giant, 2000)

Here & Now is a good country CD by the Wilkinsons. There might not be that much that separates their sound from rock or pop, but there is enough to make the distinction.

The music is good. All three of the Wilkinsons are good on whichever instruments they play. Yes, if I knew who played what I would give them credit. Same goes for whatever extra musicians there may or may not be.

Any case, the Wilkinsons consist of Steve, Amanda and Tyler Wilkinson. Amanda and Tyler both have good strong clear singing voices. Steve Wilkinson may well have a good singing voice as well, but I am not sure if he sings on the CD. (That is a long story for another day.)

One thing that all the songs have in common is that the lyrics deal with relationships (all but one of which are romantic).

You start off with "Jimmy's Got a Girlfriend" and yes, the title pretty much sums up the lyrics. It's a fun song, with a nice catchy tune. The theme continues in "It was Only a Kiss," an interesting song about the first kiss. OK, it is her thoughts on the first kiss the next day. This is followed by "One of us is in Love," a touching courtship song.

"Til you Let Go" is a love song that is also part rebuttal to what others are saying. The next song then goes past the end of the relationship with her regretting the loss in "Shame on Me."

"Hypothetically" then flips before the relationship starts with his asking if she would be interested. The mood shifts in "1999" to the voice of a current lover fighting against the ghost of the past and losing. "Don't Look at me Like That" contains the voice of a man still in love after the relationship is over, capturing the struggle between the emotions and the need to walk away. "I'll Know Love" is a strong declaration of the young as they start out on their own looking for love. This is then followed by "Me, Myself and I," the longing voice of one who hopes his love will return to him.

"The Only Rose" is the only song that is not romantic, but it is still about love. It tells the story of a mother showing love for her daughter.

This is one fine CD, and even if you don't like country you should give it a try. Some of the songs are quite touching, others are fun, but they are all good. My only complaint is that there is only 37 minutes of music.

[ by Paul de Bruijn ]

[ visit the artist's website ]

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