Big + Rich

Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace | Warner Bros.
By WERNER TRIESCHMANN  |  July 30, 2007
2.0 2.0 Stars
John Rich and “Big” Kenny Alphin turned Nashville upside-down with their 2004 debut, Horse of a Different Color. Mixing rap and hard-rock guitars in standard country songs, Big & Rich came across as gleeful court jesters — and the out-of-left-field approach moved units. Now comes the third release, and the duo have capitulated to Music Row’s deadening formula. Although Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace is a concept album (one half reverential ballads and the other half energized rockers) and Wyclef Jean and John Legend make guest appearances, the fun and the surprise have been leached out — a number of these songs wouldn’t sound out of place on a Rascal Flatts album. Like most country-music pros, Big & Rich are talented enough to make a clichéd, string-heavy song like “Lost in the Moment” enjoyable. But they once seemed capable of much more.
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