Early in 1993, a 30-year-old unknown named Bobbie Cryner released
one of those rare Nashville albums where most of the songs cut
deep--and the singing carries the ones that don't. These come once
or twice a year, and not counting such rank outsiders as Lucinda
Williams, the only women to pull one off since Dolly Parton went
Hollywood are Rosanne Cash, K.T. Oslin, and maybe a Judd or two.
Bobbie Cryner, on Epic, was smart, sexy, spunky, smoky, mean; it
had fast ones that told men off and slow ones that torched them
coming and going. But after a few minor hits, it nose-dived, taking
Cryner with it. Her marriage shot, she got serious with alcohol,
and for better or worse ended up in a 12-step program. As you might
fear, her second chance is shorter on spunk and fast ones and
avowedly less "dark." The surprise is how smart it is anyway.
Girl of Your Dreams
Like all great Nashville product, Girl of Your Dreams (MCA) is
designed for adults who've put in several years on a single
monogamous relationship--a theme so rich that Nashville is always
finding new wrinkles in it. Cryner helped write all three killers:
"The Girl of Your Dreams," in which it turns out the dream is over;
"You'd Think He'd Know Me Better," about the wages of keeping your
own counsel; and "I Didn't Know My Own Strength," a 12-step anthem
cunningly disguised as a postbreakup epiphany. And she smokes Grade
A Music Row corn like the excessively perky "Oh To Be the One,"
which honors the cheery promise the title tune undercuts, and the
warmly resigned closer "Just Say So." It's your right to believe
there's more to love than this. The glory of great Nashville is
that it won't settle for less.