Q - 11/99, pp.124-63 stars out of 5
- "...his voice remains as magnificent as ever; still sliding, swaying almost, upwards through the register before hitting all the right notes. With...sympathetic, old-school settings and 10 very decent songs too, there's no need to close up the honky tonks just yet..."
Personnel: George Jones (vocals); Bruce Watkins (acoustic guitar); Brent Mason (electric guitar); Paul Franklin (steel guitar); Stuart Duncan (fiddle); Hargus M. "Pig" Robbins (piano); Glenn Worf (bass); Eddie Bayers, Owen Hale (drums); Johy Wesley Ryles, Larry Marrs, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless (background vocals).
Recorded at Javalina Recording Studio, The Sound Station and Wedgewood Sound, Nashville, Tennessee. Includes liner notes by Evelyn Shriver.
"Choices" won the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.
COLD HARD TRUTH was nominated for the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Country Album. "Choices" was nominated for the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Country Song.
Personnel: George Jones (vocals, guitar); Bruce Watkins (acoustic guitar); Brent Mason (electric guitar); Paul Franklin (steel guitar); Stuart Duncan (fiddle); Hargus "Pig" Robbins (piano); Eddie Bayers, Owen Hale (drums); Larry Marrs, John Wesley Ryles, Patty Loveless, Vince Gill (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: John Kelton.
Liner Note Author: Evelyn Shriver.
Recording information: Javalina Recording Studio, Nashville, TN; Sound Station; Wedgewood Sound, Nashville, TN.
It's hard to believe that an artist could redefine himself five decades into his career, but that's what George Jones does here. It's not that he explores new stylistic ground. Rather, he casts off the overproduction and watered-down crossover attempts of his '80s/early-'90s work in favor of a focused, unfussy sound that evokes memories of his '50s heyday. Jones got into a bad car accident before finalizing his vocal performances for this album, so the rough takes were used, which gives a greater sense of intimacy and immediacy to COLD HARD TRUTH. His voice hasn't mellowed with age, but the bottom end of his range has grown more resonant, and he uses it here to greater effect than ever before. As usual, Jones is at his best when essaying ballads of failed romance and life gone wrong, as on the title tune. The uptempo "Sinners & Saints" finds Jones debunking the latter in deference to the former--guess which he identifies with.