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Picks and Pans Review: Freedom

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Andy Griggs (RCA)

Griggs—one of the heartiest, most expressive young male voices in country—has used the three years since his promising debut well. The 29-year-old Louisianan sounds calmer and more sure of himself, with a Randy Travis edge to his voice. And he has rounded up 13 songs well-suited to his contemporary style. Griggs had a hand in writing six tunes, including the effusive title track. Two other songs were written by members of his family: His father-in-law, gospel artist Jerry Sullivan, wrote the lively Cajun romp “Sweetheart of Beinja Bayou,” and the pensive “Someone Like Me” was penned by the singer’s older brother Mason, who died in 1991 of a heart attack at 22. Griggs’s moving performance is a fitting tribute.

Bottom Line: Let Freedom ring