Jimmy Wayne Returns With New Country Album

Isiah Reyes

After being absent from the music scene since 2003, Jimmy Wayne, 35, makes his musical return with his new album entitled “Do You Believe Me Now,” released on Aug. 26 and available in retail music stores and online.

The 12-track disk includes songs that have made it onto the Billboard Country chart, such as “Stay Gone” and “I Love You This Much.” The album also includes a duet with Patty Loveless, another country superstar. For anyone who considers themselves the country music type, they’ll be getting everything they want and much more with Wayne’s new musical release.

However, on behalf of the folks who are unfamiliar with country music, getting acquainted with this particular genre can be a bit daunting. Some of the tracks on the album have an optimistic rhythm to nod your head to, while other songs are slow enough to be considered ballads. Even so, most of the songs fulfill the purpose of making a lasting impact on the listener through strong vocals and heartwarming instrumentals.

This isn’t the case with all the songs, however.

For example, in the opening track “Do You Believe Me Now,” the song would only impact the listener if they happen to be focusing on the lyrics. This is because the song sounds like it would be fitted to play in the background of a coffee shop setting. It would go unnoticed, unconsciously setting the mood while espresso drinkers post their blogs online.

If meaningful lyrics do happen to be a selling point, then a purchase of Wayne’s new album is worthwhile. In a special video portion of the album entitled “Cut X Cut,” Wayne describes the meaning to all his lyrics on this album. Here, he connects with his audience through a behind-the- scenes interview.

Even though most of Wayne’s new songs relate to the same topics that everyone has heard countless times (such as trying to forget about your old girlfriend or about being a true believer in yourself), there were some songs that directly related to him on a personal level.

One such song is entitled “Kerosene Kid,” and besides the upbeat tempo that the song begins with, it’s essentially a sad song that illustrates how Wayne had to struggle through life growing up.

In the song, Wayne describes how he was so poor that he had to heat his house with a kerosene heater. He recalls one day walking home from school with a jug of kerosene to help heat his home, and then a student from his homeroom class rode by. The student looked out the window and laughed at Wayne, because he had to heat by kerosene. The song is basically about being proud of yourself no matter what the circumstance is and not letting others bring your spirits down.
It is songs like these that have helped Wayne generate a loyal fan base of country listeners. They feel a connection to his songs because the stories they tell also have a meaning in the listener’s lives, albeit not directly.

For instance, another song on the album is entitled “Where You’re Going,” in which the basis of the song is to look ahead at where you’re going as opposed to dwelling on the past. Many people can relate to this song because of its simple, trouble-free connotation. However, for Wayne, this simple meaning holds its own difficult significance.
In the song “Where You’re Going,” Wayne recollects being arrested and sent to jail at the age of 15. One of the most damaging memories of that incident revolves around the guard who checked him in. The guard was loud-mouthed and scornful at all the delinquents and kept referring to every convict as “trash.”

After returning to the detention center as a college student on a class field trip, Wayne sees that same guard who has haunted him all these years. In “Cut X Cut,” Wayne remembers telling the guard that not all the kids at the detention center are trash, and then says, “The only difference is, you’re still here and I’m not.”

The album only serves well if you’re planning on listening to the lyrics and trying to find a meaning in them. If you’re planning on buying a CD to dance to and have a good time, then “Do You Believe Me Now” is probably not the best choice. The disk contains a few slow-paced songs on it, so unless you happen to be interested in crying silently by your pillow, you are advised to stay away from this album.

Perhaps now isn’t the best time to sink your teeth into Wayne’s music, because as one of the songs is entitled, “Brighter Days” seem to be in close range for Wayne. Unless you happen to be another one of Wayne’s songs, a “True Believer,” then you might get lucky and purchase the disc you’ve always been waiting for. As for me, I happen to take side with another of Wayne’s songs, entitled “No Good for Me.”

On a side note, it should be mentioned that Wayne isn’t the only singer on this album. There are guest vocals by John Oates of the duo Hall & Oates and a duet with Patty Loveless. That’s about all you’ll be getting with the purchase of this album. The bottom line is this: if you like country music, then you’ll love this album. If you don’t like country music, then this is a good place to start; but it won’t blow your mind away.

Also, for you women out there, even if you aren’t into country music, you’d be pleasantly surprised to hear that Wayne was named one of People magazine’s “Sexiest Singers” in 2003. I’m sure a sale was just spawned right there.

Retail Price: $9.99
Availability: Retail stores
and online
Genre: Country
Label: The Valory Music Co.
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars