Perennial country super-stars, Sawyer Brown, return to action with an all-new studio album. The stalwart country band has produced what they believe to be their best album in a decade, Drive Me Wild. Having worked the road relentlessly in its nearly 15-year history, Sawyer Brown knows every inch of blacktop from coast-to-coast as well as any seasoned trucker. And like the hard-driving men and women, with one more load always waiting to be hauled, Sawyer Brown continue to flourish, riding on iron-clad determination and fueled by the anticipation of what lies just beyond the next bend in the road.
Considered by some to be country's most contrived and soulless band, Sawyer Brown have gleaned new respectability in recent years, primarily through their association with songwriter Mac McAnally
, who coproduced this album with lead singer Mark Miller. None of McAnally's brooding songs of anguished love show up here, but there's still good news. In addition to Miller's self-penned party songs--so lightweight you have to hold the CD in the player to keep it from flying around the room--the band aims a little higher with its choice of outside tunes. That means that you get a real ballad, like Chuck Cannon's "I'm in Love with Her," and Miller sings it straight, without that smarmy, big-boy tone. You also get a bizarre, left-field offering, "800 Pound Jesus," about a handy garage sale item that the band seems to take seriously. Aside from an explanation of why this mediocre group has such staying power, what we really want to know is how they got that big concrete statue in the car. --Alanna Nash