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Dean Miller
Koch Records Nashville

What do you do when you are the son of one of the greatest songwriters and country music icons of the last century? Well, you pull up your bootstraps and do your damnedest to make your ol' dad proud. Dean Miller has released a record that is full of country goodness, less influenced by the current trends toward crossover pop/country hits and more by the true spirit of country greats like his father, Roger Miller. I'm pretty sure his dad would be proud.

"Hard Love" starts the album in high twang style outlaw country, yet cleaner and slicker than the outlaws ever quite attained. The song comes closer to sounding like Waylon Jennings than anything else has in recent memory. All the trademark sounds are there: the washy steel and the chorus heavy lead guitar. I had to hit repeat three times before moving on to the next track. I'm a sucker for good songs about rain, and "Ready For The Rain" fits the bill. It's a moody and dark track that explores loneliness and loss. "Stronger Than Your Love" breaks loose with a sound that would appeal to the crossover crowd, but it is a deceptively deep song filled with emotion and great steel playing.

Dean Miller writes from personal experience, much like his father did, and that comes through loud and clear on these songs. The heartbreak of tracks like "Whiskey Wings" and the harsh realities of "I've Been A Long Time Leaving" drive home the point that this man hasn't led a sheltered life and he is more than capable of putting to paper the thoughts and emotions that occur in his life. But nowhere on Platinum does Miller make a stronger statement than with his overt distaste for the current music business as evidenced in the sarcastic and bitterly clever insider's viewpoint of "Music Executive".

If you are looking for something purely old country, than this new record by Dean Miller isn't exactly what you seek. But if you enjoy honest songs and brilliant production without the falsehood of most modern pop music, then Platinum is a great train to hop and ride into the sunset.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:
1. Hard Love
2. 105
3. Ready For The Rain
4. Whiskey Wings
5. Stronger Than Your Love
6. I've Been A Long time Leaving
7. Coming Back To You
8. On A Good Day
9. Right Now
10. Yes Man
11. Music Executive

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