dated, but with three redeeming songs .

We Got a Lot in Common (Atlantic)

By Michael W. Stout

We Got a Lot in Common, Archer Park's debut album, has had a familiar, yet storybook-like evolution. Randy Archer and Johnny Park, both singer-songwriters, met when they were staff songwriters for the same publishing company. The two decided one day to try writing together and, as they say, the rest is history. The two wrote very quickly and were thrown in the studio together to record a four-song demo tape. They were surprised at how well their voices harmonized, the demo tape caught Atlantic's ears and poof, We Got a Lot in Common appeared.

This debut effort is a decent attempt, but unfortunately its weaknesses outweigh its strengths. The vocals are good, the harmony is definitely amazing, the musicianship' is excellent, but this album has one too many long, dry stretches of desert highway. The majority of the songs have a lot of depth, but they are the same love-gone-bad-I'm-so-blue-I-could-cry songs that non-country fans stereotype as "those depressing tear-in-my-beer" songs. Times have changed and country music has changed with them.

There are three distinct reasons to buy this album though. First of all, there's "Where There's Smoke," a soulful, yet truly country. performance of Bobby P. Barker and Mark Collie's song. The second is "You Don't Know Where This Heart's Been," a ballad with the unique twist of telling the girl to walk away because his heart's been broken before and he won't let anyone get close to him again. The third and final reason is "I Still Wanna Jump Your Bones," a very up-tempo song promoting marriage and monogamy as a positive choice.