The first song, "Pretending," is a mellow, shuffling lament of nostalgia and lonely nights, while the second track, "Hard Time Taking this Heartbreak'n," rollicks with an energy that contradicts the suffering tenor of the lyrics. From there, Cockrell navigates the kaleidoscope of human emotions with the songs, "Why [Can't My Love Be Enough]?," "Stack of Dreams" and "Burdens Rest Easy."
Though there's hardly a cheerful word among the bunch, an abundant sense of hope runs as an undercurrent through all of Cockrell's music. No other tune speaks more to that hope than his gospel track, "He Set Me Free," which seems to respond, possibly as an antidote, to the previous seven tracks. It's uplifting yet solemn, delivering a message of salvation with great optimism and eye-to-eye sincerity.
Cockrell's roughhewn voice, reminiscent of Dwight Yoakam's, resonates with a texture and richness beyond his age. That, coupled with his fine songwriting and innovative musicianship, takes this CD into new artistic territory for country music.