People Like Us
R&R ~ The New Album Gallery
He calls it 'Aaron music,' and those who have followed his career totally understand what that means. Between blue-collar anthems (There Ain't Nothin' Wrong With The Radio, Working Man's PhD) and softer material (My Blue Angel), Tippin possesses one of the most recognizable voices in country music. Through it all, he's kept things country ~ and managed to sell more than 5 million albums. Making the transition from RCA to Lyric Street two years ago with What This Country Needs, Tippin says he found a new lease on his creative life. He says, "I wasn't sure I wanted to cut records anymore. The last couple of albums I had done, we were cutting all outside material, and it didn't feel like there was much Aaron in the records." Explaining Lyric Street's attitude, Tippin says, "One thing they wanted was for writing to be a bigger part of my career. They also wanted me to co-produce my first album for them. I thought, 'Maybe these guys really do want Aaron music.'" For his second Lyric Street project, People Like Us, Tippin shares the producer chair with noted session guitarist Biff Watson and Mike Bradley. Tippin says, "I used to want every record to read like a novel, to follow a theme. Now, I just want to put together the greatest songs I can find." Tippin has a writer's credit on six songs, including Kiss This, which jumps to No. 23 on this week's R&R Country Chart. Tippin co-wrote Kiss This and The Best Love We Ever Made with wife Thea, who provides vocals on the latter. Another family member ~ 2-year old son Teddy ~ puts his vocals tag on Big Boy Toys. The title track was written by David Lee Murphy and Kim Tribble. Mark Collie, one of Tippin's former co-writers, provides I'd Be Afraid of Losing You, written with Leslie Satcher. Tippin says, "I was a co-writer with him on his first single, Something With A Ring To It, so now we're getting even."
R&R The Industry's Newspaper
12 July 2000
Even though the pop-fueled kid-star movement has begun to spread into the country arena, no one can deliver the true grit of the genre better than a voice of experience ~ and the sixth collection by one of country's enduring hunks is proof positive. People Like Us shows the ever-videogenic belter in fine form, as he stomps through 11 musical gems with equal parts rowdy honky-tonk upstart and suave moonlight Romeo. The project is off to an excellent start with the single Kiss This, a rollickin' jam in which Tippin floats lines like "Kiss this...and I don't mean on my rosy red lips" with just enough playfully sexy subtext to raise a few eyebrows. Elsewhere, the set offers fun interludes in the form of cut like the jaunty Big Boy Toys, as well as tender moments like the lovely, single-worthy The Best Love We Ever Made, which features a guest vocal by Tippin's wife, Thea. The ultimate joy to be derived from People Like Us is that it doesn't carry a preoccupation with pop crossover. Rather, it shows Tippin as a dyed-in-the-wool country artist who's happy to have a comfy musical home and a loyal audience. Ya gotta love him for that.
29 July 2000
Waylon Jennings once said that he "couldn't go pop with a mouth full of firecrackers." Neither can Aaron Tippin, and that's what makes this stone-country album so enjoyable.
The co-writing efforts of Aaron and his wife Thea produced two of the album's best songs. Currently scaling the singles chart, Kiss This makes up in sassiness what it lacks in subtlety. Why don't you kiss, kiss this, Aaron sings, and I don't mean on my rosy red lips. Obviously, Aaron's referring to some part of the anatomy where the sun don't shine.
At the opposite end of the sensitvity spectrum, the second Aaron-Thea collaboration, The Best Love We Ever Made, results in one of the best baby-makes-three ballads to come down the pike in a many a moon. Following the lead of Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black, Aaron and Thea prove once again that the family that sings together, stays together. Thea makes a surprisely strong vocal appearance in this gentle ode to the magic of childbirth. And we're so amazed we could create/Such a pricless work of art, they croon. Oh, the best love we ever made/Is this precious child of ours. That precious child himself two-and-a-half-year-old Teddy ~ can be heard briefly on a track called Big Boy Toys.
Aaron stays in an affectionate mood for the soft and swaying And I Love You, then switches to a honky-tonk rocker with David Lee Murphy's People Like Us and finally returns to the theme of eternal love with Always Was. Throughout, he sings in a lower register, avoiding the nasal qualities from some of his previous recordings.
Some five million album sales deep into his recording career, Aaron has created his best album yet. People like us love it!
Country Weekly Reviews
22 August 2000
Country Music Live
If you suddenly have that feeling of a deer in headlights, it's OK. That's just the first cut from Aaron Tippin's latest record coming at you.
Trucks, tractors and ATVs. Those are Aaron Tippin's kind of toys, and if he's not singing about them, you can rest assured he's probably riding one somewhere ~ which is why the South Carolina native's music relates so well to average, fun lovin' country folk. If you're a work hard, play hard, down-to-earth kind of person, Aaron Tippin is your kind of people.
Tippin isn't a Geroge Strait cowboy, a Garth Brooks rope-swinger, or a Vince Gill vocalist. He's a blue-collar honky-tonker singing about things he loves, and having fun doing it, as he did on his early smash, There Ain't Nothin' Wrong With The Radio. He's also the one mainstreamer in country music who matches Dale Watson for his handle on trucking songs.
People Like Us is Tippin's seventh studio album and his second release on Lyric Street Records. Very quietly, the weight-lifting diehard has sold over four million records and struck Gold with five albums. His third chart-topper, Kiss This, is definitely not one to be confused with Faith Hill's This Kiss. The song about telling your cheatin' partner where to go kicks off People Like Us in pure, rowdy, roughneck fashion.
But before listener's have a chance to expect a collection of hillbilly tunes, Tippin's baritone seques smoothly into And I Love You, one of several love songs whose sincerity take nothing away from the honky-tonk attitude of the album. It's no tear-jerker, just an honest and upbeat love song. Tippin has always had a knack for balancing tough and tender in his music, and it would be hard for Tippin to not be sincere on an album that features his wife as a writer and vocalist. Thea Tippin co-write on Kiss this and The Best Love We Ever Made ~ not exactly compositions you'd expect from the same creative well. But the album flows impressively from one solid tune to the next.
Other than Kiss This, a clear-cut Tippin fanatics favorite ought to be Big Boys Toys, covering boats, cars, tractors and trucks. Just about the only toy missing is a plane or two, another Tippin hobby. Regardless of what the song may do on the charts, it and Kiss This are destined to be show-stoppers on the concert trail. After all, sales numbers aside, Tippin's biggest asset is his ability to entertain. Tippin says that the one part of the music business that he has total control over is what happens when he goes out on stage. When he has the crowd going, he knows he still has what it takes to entertain people. And if the music isn't for you, well...pucker up.
Country Music Live CD Reviews
December 2000/January 2001
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