Despite the Michael Bolton-esque histrionics of their mega-hit "Amazed," Lonestar is actually an accomplished country-rock group -- sort of a kinder, gentler Eagles, without the decadence and misogyny. And on I'm Already There, the follow-up to their multi-platinum breakthrough Lonely Grill, the specter of Henley past, present and future lurks everywhere -- from the quartet's stellar harmonies to the "Life In the Fast Lane"-esque lick that kicks off the album's hardest rocker, "Must Be Love." But what really saves the band from becoming just another New Kid in Town is its knack for choosing unusual and well-written material. Hey, not every act could turn a tune about a psycho girlfriend ("Usually Unusual") into a breezy and upbeat love song. The disc's true highlight, though, is the poignant title track (co-written by frontman Richie McDonald), a finely detailed snapshot of everyday life that'll have anyone in a long distance relationship reaching for the Kleenex. Lonestar break no new artistic ground here, but if the band was simply hoping to create a solid, enjoyable album and a round of radio-ready tunes, well they're already there.
(June 25, 2001)
(Posted: Jun 26, 2001)