A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this American Idol finalist's first CD contains nothing offensive -- unless you are offended by cloying country sentimentality. Cynics will have trouble making it all the way through "I'll Walk," a song about a girl crippled in an accident, and "The Bible and the Belt's" celebration of corporal punishment.
What's the story?
BUCKY COVINGTON is the self-titled first CD by the recent American Idol finalist. Covington has a powerful, whiskey-soaked voice and enough attitude to pull off standard-issue country-rock with engaging energy and style. Unfortunately, the 11 songs offer only ho-hum hooks and unimaginative instrumentation, and break little new ground. There are enough references to "Daddy's belt" ("Mamma brought the bible, Daddy brung the belt/Mamma set the table/Daddy rung the bell…one foot in heaven, one foot in hell/I found religion 'tween the bible and the belt") as an instrument of discipline to trigger family discussion about setting limits. But the real danger here is the cloying sentimentality in many of these songs.
Is it any good?
The exquisitely performed "I'll Walk" takes a teenager's highway accident to new heights of regret and resolve, without any of the sly camp of older similar songs ("Teen Angel" comes to mind) -- but if you're in a vulnerable mood, this one might just get you anyway. The other tracks have far less visceral impact, and also less of anything else that might make them interesting. Production standards are adequate but generic, and it would be fun to hear this artist's strong voice on some really good songs, produced with a bit more imagination and style.