My Kind of Country

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

Album Review: Holly Dunn – ‘Leave One Bridge Standing’

leave one bridge standingHolly’s second album for River North turned out to be her last mainstream ever.  The production leans a little too far in the Shania Twain style pop country vein which was making the most waves at country radio at the time for my tastes, but Holly’s vocals are on point.  More of a problem is that the songs are nothing special.

Too many of the songs are generic pop country of the most disposable kind.  To be honest they don’t sound that bad compared to the worst excesses of today’s radio hits – but that’s a pretty low bar, and they’re still pretty boring.  The title track was the only attempt at a single.  A rather undistinguished mid-tempo song, it failed to chart, and that turned out to be Holy’s swansong as a singles artist.

There are a few tracks I do like.  ‘Whatshisname’ is the best of the up-tempo songs, a playful dismissal of an ex she can’t even remember.  ‘That Never Stopped Me’ is a fairly generic song, but has some nice honky tonk piano and a committed personality-filled vocal which make it listenable.

‘Talking Goodbye’ is a very good ballad advising a friend against abandoning marriage for the lonely life of a single woman, with the benefit of her own bitter experience.  This is by far the best track on the album, with a fine vocal and an arrangement dominated by fiddle and steel, and definitely worth downloading.

The tender love song ‘The Wonder Of Love’ is also good, while ‘We’ve Got The Love’ is nicely sung, if unmemorable.  Although the production lacks subtlety, I quite liked Don’t Break The Wings’, thanks largely to Holly’s warm hearted vocal.  The song offers advice to someone entering on a new relationship not to cling to tight:

Don’t break the wings of the one you love

Help them learn to fly

She closes the circle of her career by ending the album with her own version of the 80s pop-country of ‘I’m Not Through Loving You Yet’, a song she wrote for Louise Mandrell in her early days in Nashville.

Holly did record one more record, a Christian one which is not easy to find at a reasonable price, in 2003.  That same year she announced her retirement from music in order to concentrate on her other love, painting.  This last secular album makes a rather disappointing closing chapter to her career.  It is available cheaply, but my recommendation would be just to download ‘Talking Goodbye’ and possibly one or two other tracks.

Grade: C+

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