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Associated Press Album Review

One On One
Randy Owen (Broken Bow)

Randy Owen apparently wants to establish pretty quickly that his solo career will differ from his four decades as the leader of Alabama, the most successful band in country music history.

His solo debut, One On One, opens with a seductive country rocker, I Confess, positioning him as a romantic older man whose age gives him an experience and focus he lacked in his youth.

Owen's lustful persona rises repeatedly on One On One, which was produced with subtle flair by John Rich. On Let's Pretend We're Strangers For The Night, he sets up a scenario for renewing passion in a marriage.

On Slow And Steady, he's an all-night loving man whose attentiveness never wanes. On the power ballad Holding Everything, he pours his ever-loving heart out to his duet partner, young up-and-comer Megan Mullins.

Elsewhere, Braid My Hair is the kind of sentimental song Alabama often did late in their career, while Barbados is a misdirected attempt to tap into the island rhythms that Kenny Chesney uses with such success.

Despite a couple of weaker moments - including the clunky rocker Urban's On The Country Radio - Owen proves that he can be just as compelling and likable standing on his own as when running with the guys in the band.

Check out this track: The tender Like I Never Broke Her Heart uses a moody, atmospheric arrangement to bring out the smoky quality of Owen's baritone, which is perfect for expressing the emotion that runs through this ballad about cheating and regret.