My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Album Review – Lorrie Morgan – ‘Show Me How’

220px-ShowMeHowOnce Lorrie Morgan parted ways with BNA Records in 2002, she was free to begin the independent label phase of her career, one that would spawn a few albums to date, but little success at radio or retail. Her first such release, Show Me How, was released in January 2004 on Image Entertainment.

The album, her first solo project of all new material in five years, reteamed her with her longtime producer Richard Landis, whom she hadn’t worked with on an album of new songs since War Paint ten years earlier. There were three singles released, with only the lead charting.

“Do You Still Want to Buy Me That Drink (Frank),” a silly yet somewhat engaging tale of a woman picking up a guy in a bar, hit #50. The piano ballad “I Can Count On You” was much better, although a bit dated by 2004 standards. Final single “Us Girls” is a pop mess and pure dreck.

Show Me How as a whole is a mixed bag, an uncharacteristic misstep from a singer who was known for her consistent quality in the previous decade. I can appreciate the production on “Bombshell,” but the lyrics about an aging beauty try and fail to be age appropriate for someone in her mid-40s. The title track may work for a newcomer who doesn’t care about their material, but the pop production and Morgan’s breathy vocal don’t do her any justice. Her vocal on “One Less Monkey” is better, but the faux-R&B beats and backup singers are awful. “Rocks” is too progressive for my taste.

Thankfully the album picks up with some of the ballads. “Used” is a wonderful reflection on life that Morgan sings from experience:

 Maybe I lost my way

Maybe I made mistakes

Who cares, I coulda quit but I didn’t

Maybe I loved too much

Maybe I’ve lost too much

I’m used… But then, who isn’t?

I also like “The Wedding,” which has a nice lyric and simple country arrangement to frame Morgan’s voice. Same goes for “Charlie and Betty,” the only number on which Morgan has a writing credit. A beautiful “Livin’ On Love” type story song, it tells the tale of a couple’s love affair set to a beautiful dobro and mandolin laced production that nicely compliments Morgan’s conversational vocal. “Charlie and Betty” is easily the best track on the album by a long shot. Also good is “Another Winter Without You,” a touching ballad of lost love that brings in the record’s only audible dose of steel guitar. The piano flourishes are a bit heavy, but Morgan gives a nicely confident vocal throughout.

All and all Show Me How is a mixed bag musically that does little more than give Morgan a vast playground of unexpected beats and sounds from which to play, all of which she tries on for size, but they don’t fit. It’s a shame she couldn’t have used this opportunity to make a career record and not play it so safe. A part from “Charlie and Betty” none of these songs are essential listening or worth seeking out unless you are the type of fan that must own all of her albums.

Grade: C+

One response to “Album Review – Lorrie Morgan – ‘Show Me How’

  1. Razor X August 26, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Definitely a mixed bag, but I did like “Do You Still Want To Buy Me That Drink (Frank)”. Reminds me of “What Part of No”, except this time she scares the guy off by telling him upfront about all the baggage that comes with her. 😉

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