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Cold Hard Truth
     

The Cold Hard Truth

by George Jones
 

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His near-fatal auto accident early in 1999 preempted COLD HARD TRUTH, but it couldn't keep George Jones down. This album is going to stand as a monument in Jones's overwhelming catalogue, a fact evident from the first mournful notes he sings in the autobiographical opener, "Choices." It's a quiet, touching bit of owning-up that would be hard to take if it weren't so

Overview

His near-fatal auto accident early in 1999 preempted COLD HARD TRUTH, but it couldn't keep George Jones down. This album is going to stand as a monument in Jones's overwhelming catalogue, a fact evident from the first mournful notes he sings in the autobiographical opener, "Choices." It's a quiet, touching bit of owning-up that would be hard to take if it weren't so downright beautiful. Then, as you're waiting to exhale, Jones lays on the heartbreak again with the title song: He sings as his own conscience, cataloguing the selfish deeds that cost him a good woman's love and, in effect, a future. Tough stuff -- and Jones's reading cuts to the bone. This TRUTH gets colder and harder as it goes along -- "Our Bed of Roses" will get the tears flowing, too -- but Possum leavens the noir with some good-time, up-tempo frolics, chief among them being Mark Collie and Dean Miller's instant dance-hall classic, "Ain't Love a Lot Like That," complete with Brent Mason's twangy guitar, Hargus "Pig" Robbins's rinky-tink piano, and Paul Franklin's feisty pedal-steel commentary. But oh, those tearjerkers. Cold, hard, but priceless.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Touted as George Jones' return to hardcore country, Cold Hard Truth -- the Possum's first record for the revitalized Asylum Records -- certainly does achieve that goal. Under the guidance of producer Keith Stegall, Jones returns to the sound of his classic Mercury and UA recordings, meaning that there's nothing but honky tonk ballads and ravers throughout. Impressively, Stegall made sure that Jones didn't take the easy way out: there are no covers or superstar duets, just strong new songs. And, unlike almost any of Jones' previous albums, there's not a single novelty or throwaway. In short, it's the album hardcore fans have said they've always wanted Jones to make. Like most realized fantasies, Cold Hard Truth doesn't quite live up to the imagination, yet it still delivers enough that it isn't a disappointment. Much of the credit must be given to Stegall; his production may be a bit too clean and echo-laden, but he made a wise move in adhering to simple, traditional instrumentation and guiding Jones toward a great set of songs. George sounds terrific, not necessarily better than on his latter-day MCA records, but the strength of the material makes it seem so. For all of its virtues, there's a curious distance on Cold Hard Truth, possibly because it's too careful in both its song selection, and there's no grit in the production. Silly songs and rushed performances always gave Jones' albums character, and it's hard not to miss that reckless spirit on Cold Hard Truth, no matter how good the music is. But ultimately, such complaints amount to nitpicking. There's little question that Cold Hard Truth boasts the finest set of songs Jones has had in nearly two decades, and he delivers the performances they deserve. It's refreshing to finally hear a Jones album that holds up from beginning to end.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/22/1999
Label:
Warner Bros Mod Afw
UPC:
0075596236829
catalogNumber:
62368
Rank:
47897

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

George Jones   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Patty Loveless   Background Vocals
John Wesley Ryles   Background Vocals
Eddie Bayers   Drums
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle
Paul Franklin   Steel Guitar
Vince Gill   Background Vocals
Owen Hale   Drums
Larry Marrs   Background Vocals
Brent Mason   Electric Guitar
Hargus "Pig" Robbins   Piano
Bruce Watkins   Acoustic Guitar
Glenn Worf   Bass

Technical Credits

John Kelton   Engineer
Keith Stegall   Producer
Steve Crowder   Engineer
Michael Hagewood   Art Direction
Evelyn Shriver   Liner Notes,Executive Producer
Bill Yates   Composer
Mike Curtis   Composer

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