Search - Barbara Mandrell :: Keys in the Mailbox

Keys in the Mailbox
Barbara Mandrell
Keys in the Mailbox
Genre: Country
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1


CD Details

All Artists: Barbara Mandrell
Title: Keys in the Mailbox
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Capitol
Release Date: 9/24/1991
Genre: Country
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 077779679423, 077779679447

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CD Reviews

?Mailbox? is the Key to A More Countrified Mandrell
T. Yap | Sydney, NSW, Australia | 03/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Prime Cuts: The Key's in the Mailbox, Try Getting Over You, Tall Drink of WaterReleased in 1991, this is the last among a quartet of albums Mandrell recorded for Capitol Nashville Records. While her preceding two albums nested comfortably in the pop-country landscape, "Keys in the Mailbox" finds Mandrell searching for more rural pastures. Most telling is the album cover: here we no longer find a business-like woman dressed in her patrician suit. Rather, we see a cross legged Mandrell in plain old jeans sitting comfortably in a garden like homey setting. Such a quest for a more incurious setting is also reflected in the production of the songs. While some of Mandrell's previous products were padded with heavy percussion and overwhelmed with synths, here though syths are still in evidence, they are no longer used as swamp dressing. Rather, a more acoustic, earthy and organic feel prevails throughout this entire CD.Most country of these 10 cuts is "Tall Drink of Water," a spirited Western-like number, backed by some excellent fiddling; definitely a satisfying thirst quencher. But the oasis of goodies doesn't end there. After scoring a top 5 hit with Harlan Howard's "I Wish That I Could Fall in Love Today," Howard resurfaces again as the songwriter to the title track. The title track has every ingredient of a smash hit. Catchy, extremely radio friendly and done at a pace faster than the original, "Keys" was an obvious choice as the first single. However, with practically no promotion, "Keys in the Mailbox," the single as well as this entire album were criminally lost in the shuffle. To rub salt to the wound, no other single was released from this album. In my opinion, "This Rock," a sturdy feminine anthemic rocker, is a resplendent follow-up. Even Highway 101's smoking "Road to Your Heart" could easily be a second-single contender. The tempo does slow down, but one's enjoyment level is by no means tapered. "You've All I Got to Loose" has to be one of the prettiest and most country waltzes Mandrell must have had ever recorded. Slowing to a relaxing late night listening pace, backed by some tasty steel guitars, "You've All I Got to Loose" brings to mind Patsy Cline in her heyday. Less country, though equally emotionally evocative is "Try Getting Over You." Written by Michael Bolton and Doug James and once performed by Japanese popster Seiko Matsuda, "Try Getting Over You" is a moving tearjerker as Mandrell wrestles with separation from her partner. Mandrell's husky and yet heartfelt delivery definitely augmented the sentiments of the song. On the other hand, knowing Mandrell has a penchant for pop standards (which she regularly included in her live shows when she was touring) it's no surprise to the inclusion of the two pop oldies here. But, I was disappointed with Mandrell's choice. "When a Man Loves a Woman" is a song that is practically overdone (especially by Michael Bolton of late). Though Mandrell was trying to make a point that a woman can sing a guy's song, I still find a female rendition unconvincing. The same goes for Mandrell's countrified rendition of Leone Payne's "I Love You Because" (popularized by Elvis). Maybe producer and Capitol Nashville's honcho Jimmy Bowen knew that this was Mandrell's swan song, there was no added effort to find more original songs. 6 out of the 10 songs are actually covers; though some are less obvious than others. But with Mandrell's sassiness, her cigarette infused vocals and her heartfelt delivery such injustice can be overlooked. Being a Mandrell fan, what hurts the most is that this album was overlooked by radio and most of the general public when it is definitely one of Mandrell's most solid country efforts."
Capitol Records missed out on this one!
T. Yap | 11/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This album, released in 1991, was one of Barbara's best, most consistent albums in terms of material choice! However, she had signed with Capitol/EMI Records a few years before and they were just not interested in promoting her material - unfortunately, this was also the same label that a then-unknown Garth Brooks had signed with, and the company was focused on making him a superstar. Too bad, because this is an outstanding collection of songs.From the first and only single released from this set, the title track (which country radio virtually ignored!), to the closing track "Road To Your Heart", Mandrell does not miss a beat! Her cover of "When A Man Loves A Woman" is very original from the male covers of the song over the years, and she totally nails it!The Michael Bolton-penned "Try Gettin' Over You" is one Barbara's best recordings ever and would have done very well if it had been released as a single to Adult Contemporary radio. "This Rock" demonstrates just how Barbara can turn loose on a rocker and captures a bit of the energy and vivacity of one of her concerts. Other standout tracks on this CD are "Tall Drink of Water", "I Love You Because", and the country radio-friendly "Road To Your Heart"."
Last major label album is a classic
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 02/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"With Garth Brooks and other young artists dominating the airwaves, older stars like Barbara struggled for airplay so it was no surprise that her career effectively ended with this album. Just one more album of original material has appeared since this album and it now seems that Barbara has retired. Perhaps Barbara was having difficulty finding original songs because this album contains more covers than usual. Although the album yielded no hits, it is just as good as her hit-laden eighties albums. It also has more of a country feel than most of Barbara's albums, although I suspect it does not go far enough to win over die-hard traditionalists.The title track is a relatively unknown Harlan Howard song, though Buck Owens and Ernest Tubb were among those who had previously covered it. Lee Greenwood covered Before I'm over you about a year after this album was released. Barbara's cover of Percy Sledge's classic song, When a man loves a woman, is outstanding. She made no changes to the lyrics to allow for gender, thus emphasising the power that women have over men more than Percy ever could.Try getting over you was co-written by Michael Bolton but I'm not sure if he actually recorded the song himself. I love you because is the oldest song here. Although Jim Reeves was not the first to record this song, I always regard the song as his - but Barbara's is one of the finest versions among the many I've heard. Road to your heart is a cover of a song that first appeared on Highway 101's second album, titled Highway 101 2. The other songs may be originals - I certainly haven't come across them elsewhere. However, the quality of them all is extremely high.This is an album of the highest quality by one of my all-time favorite singers. If you are new to Barbara's music, this album is an ideal introduction to her music despite the absence of hits. If Barbara had been fashionable with radio stations when this was released, there would have been a lot of hits from this album."