Troy Campbell was the lead singer of the new-country band "Loose Diamonds". The band had all the good ingredients but actually never released a great album of their own. American Breakdown is Campbell's second album, which follows Man vs. Beast released in 1998.
Campbell's approach to making a record is very much remindful of Jimmy Lafave, and Bruce Springsteen. He alternates rocking songs with slower ballads, and although his voice is less convincing than the two luminaries cited, he still pulls off good solid songs, one after the other. His rocking songs seemed to be more energy driving and convincing than his slower ones.
In the opening rocking song Sad Truth, a Dylanesque song, Campbell shows he has it, when he repeats "you you you" many times, almost like Van Morrison.
I enjoyed this CD, but finally Campbell does not come with a complete original option to the Texas sound. He sounds too much like the others, though, it is indeed like the best ones. He can be compared, as he has been, with Lucinda Williams or Robert Earl Keen, but I think there are many hints and many licks in this CD that show that he can invent himself as Troy Campbell, and not "just" as another good songwriter." Close, very close even, but no cigars! Probably next time.
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