Nearly a decade ago, Garth Brooks's ability to incorporate '70s pop material and arena rock into his act made history (and controversy) as he propelled country to its pinnacle of success. One fact remains in 2001. When he simply rears back and sings … see full wiki
Garth Brook's 'Scarecrow' is simply one of his best C.D.'s. It's true that the songs individually aren't as big as most of those on 'The Hits' collection, but together it is a genuine classic--even though there are more subdued moments within.
"Why Ain't I Running" heralds the album with progressive guitars that helped establish Garth as the king of "hot new country". While "Wrapped up in You" has to be as pop-pleasing as Garth gets. However, "Beer Run" is an even better representation of Garth country. Singing a duet with George Jones and accompanied by skillful fiddling, Garth delivers his best song. The caliber of the album is also broadened on "Squeeze Me In," which he sings with then-girlfriend Trisha Yearwood. (This spirited selection is even more worthwhile than their duet, "Love Will Always Win" on the more recent 'Lost Sessions' C.D.) The musicianship is more carefully presented than many of his mid-career works, but the writing is particularly good on "The Storm," with its tender tale and its extended metaphor about family squabbles. His beautiful and eloquent peace song, "Thicker than Blood" illustrates how consistently he is true to himself. "Thicker than Blood" is a spare and tender song with fine and simple lyrics, but "Big Money" is as bottom-line as he gets, musically or lyrically. Whether progressive or traditional, Garth is genuine. Even his one remake "Don't Cross the River" is too good to be redundant.
Overall, the quality songwriting and the back up musicianship make 'Scarecrow' one of Brook's best harvests. Every bad thing is warded away-- except for the corn, and here, thankfully, there's plenty.