Garth Brooks' 'Man Against Machine'

November 10, 2014 11:37 PM

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The most welcoming aspect of the comeback album from the top--selling solo artist in U.S. history is how perfectly he's preserved the sound and approach that served him so well during his 1990s peak. No boundary-piercing lyrics, no hick-hop pandering and, title track excepted, no further crossing over into straight-up rock than he's done before.

Man Against Machine (*** out of four stars), Brooks' first album of original material since 2001's Scarecrow, fits comfortably in the country mainstream that he once defined, yet doesn't sound dated. In fact, the title track, a raging broadside against the dream-crushing "System,'' sounds timelier b...

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