CD packaged in a standard jewel case with an eight page fold-out insert.
While Nashville's "country for kids" campaign has largely been a bust, this 12-year-old plows fearlessly and headlong into anything and everything thrown his way. Tammy Wynette
's classic "'Til I Can Make It on My Own" doesn't faze him. Neither do cotton-candy pop oldies ("Little Things" and "Little Bitty Pretty One"), oddball novelties ("The Snake Song"), or inspirational fare ("There's a Hero"). His credible delivery of "Oklahoma," the moving tale of one boy's trip to meet a long-vanished father, is a fine performance that transcends his age. Don't blame him for the weak spots. Credit for the cookie-cutter arrangements and such soggy ballads as the preachy title track goes to multiple producers Don Cook (Music Row's dean of formulaic production), David Malloy, and Blake Chancey. As always, their goals are to satisfy the one-dimensional country-radio consultants who dictate what gets played, nothing more. Long ago, producers Owen Bradley and Billy Sherrill helped Brenda Lee
and Tanya Tucker
, respectively, build youthful success into enduring adult careers. If only young Gilman had such visionaries enhancing his talent. --Rich Kienzle