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My Love Will Keep ()

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You may not think you've heard of Jonathan Edwards, but you've heard his most famous song (the one that starts "Sunshine go away today/Don't feel much like dancing") about a hundred times, and with good reason: it's a brilliant piece of classic folk-pop, a perfect example of how to wrap barbed wire in a candy coating and make people enjoy eating it. His latest album is no less hooky and no less folky: the title track approaches straight-up bluegrass territory (helped along, as are several other songs, by the reedy harmony vocals of bluegrass star Claire Lynch), while "Lightkeeper" feels like a sea shanty and "Crazy Texas Woman" is an excellent roots rocker that features some excellent mouth harp playing by Edwards. His voice is still strong and richly textured, and when he isn't getting carried away by ecological preaching -- a didactic tendency that dulls the impact of several otherwise fine songs, including "This Island Earth" and the John Denver tribute "Johnny Blue Horizon" -- his lyrics can be sharply insightful. The album's biggest misstep, however, is a quavery ballad arrangement of the Beatles' "She Loves You," an idea that may have looked good on paper but just comes across to the ear as self-indulgent. Fans will welcome this latest from an icon of folk-pop, but newcomers may want to start with his back catalog. ~ Rick Anderson, Rovi Hide synopsis

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