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STARific Review: Tammy Cochran - Tammy Cochran

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Tammy Cochran may be a new name to country music fans, but Tammy, herself, is definitely not new to the industry. Right out of high school, she came to a crossroad: college or music? Tammy chose the latter. She and her family packed up from their hometown Austinburg, Ohio and moved to Nashville in 1991, in hopes of finding a record deal. She signed with Epic in 1998 and began recording her self-titled album. When her debut single, "If You Can" was released, it caught the ear of Martina McBride. Martina reportedly called into 95.5 fm, WSM (a Nashville country radio station), asking who the singer was. Not a bad start for someone who had just released her debut single. This 10-track collection features songs penned by some of Nashville’s most recognized songwriters – Tia Sillers (Lee Ann Womack’s smash, "I Hope You Dance"), Roxie Dean (Jamie O’Neal’s Number 1 single, "When I Think About Angels") as well as country singers/songwriters, Jamie O’Neal, Sherrié Austin, and Lisa Brokop. These songs are reflective of Tammy’s life, with a couple songs penned by her. Also, the disc was produced Blake Chancey (known for producing albums of the Dixie Chicks).

The whole album reads like a book, each song a different chapter. It opens with I CRY, a song about moving on with life, as opposed to sitting in the corner and crying life away. Of course, once in a while, slipping back into the latter is possible, hence the title. IF YOU CAN faces the bitter truth that the woman’s husband is cheating on her. With Tammy’s powerful vocals seeming to cry out adds to the overall effectiveness of the song. This is one of my favorites. SO WHAT is the next chapter of the story. The woman is healing from the shock and hurt; she learned from her past and now she’s ready to continue living life. The ballad, WHAT I LEARNED FROM LOVING YOU, is a song of emotional healing. Instead of mulling over what has happened, just get up and see the bright side of things! A definite favorite from the start! THAT AIN’T RIGHT, an almost-in-your-face song, talks about people who just sit around and expect things to get done for them. Bottom line: if you ever want something to happen, YOU have to be the one to do something about it. SAY GOODBYE takes us on a journey of uplifting self-discovery. Hey – our best traits are not hidden at all; we just have to know they ARE there within us in order to bring them out! Without a doubt, this is another favorite! The self-penned WHEN LOVE WAS ENOUGH (co-written with Verlon Thompson and Tommy Polk) brings us back to the simplest of all things in life: love. Despite struggling with jobs or keeping bills paid, love was always there. "We had it all back when we didn’t have a dime to spend." GOING, GOING, GONE takes the initiative to leave a relationship heading in the wrong direction. Then, BETTER OFF BROKEN gives second thoughts to the decision, but ultimately runs with an optimistic solution to a bad situation. Faced with a shaky relationship, the woman in the song says, "I’m through crying and denying…tired of pretending I don’t hurt/So, I’ve been thinking maybe my heart’s better off broken." Tammy saves the best for last, as the album closes with a touching tribute. ANGELS IN WAITING (a song Tammy co-wrote with Jim McBride and Stewart Harris) was inspired by her older brothers Shawn and Alan – both of whom succumbed to cystic fibrosis early in their lives (15 and 23, respectively). This is my favorite from the album, hands down!

Tammy says she wants to sing songs that "make people feel things." Mission accomplished. I remember the first time I after hearing "Angels in Waiting," I was a complete crying mess! Now, THAT’S what I call a powerful song! Apparently, I am not the only one who liked this song. Tammy recently (note: November, 2001) racked up Video of the Year at the Christian Country Music Awards AND Best Contemporary Christian Clip of the Year honors at the Billboard Video Awards (voted by Billboard magazine readers) – not to mention scoring her first Top Ten single with "Angels in Waiting." Ladies and gentlemen – remember the name, Tammy Cochran. She’s genuinely country to the core: in her music, the situations are real, the people are real. What more could you ask? And, it is evident Tammy believes every word she sings, which is what country music is about. This album is a must-buy for country fans!

CD INFO:

Tammy Cochran
Tammy Cochran
Released May 1, 2001
Epic Nashville

Tammy Cochran

TRACK LISTING:

1. I Cry
2. If You Can
3. So What
4. What I Learned From Loving You
5. That Ain't Right
6. Say Goodbye
7. When Love Was Enough
8. Going, Going, Gone
9. Better Off Broken
10. Angels In Waiting

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