Ten Feet Tall And Bulletproof

Travis Tritt

Warner Brothers Records, 1994


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Looking back at Travis Tritt's career, one has to wonder how much Lynyrd Skynyrd helped him.

His previous album, T-R-O-U-B-L-E, had some good moments, but was, for the most part, atypical country that didn't stand out that much. Stylistically, Tritt - while still a rising star - was in trouble.

Entering the picture for his 1994 followup, Ten Feet Tall And Bulletproof, were Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington (who does not play on the album), Hank Williams, Jr., Marty Stuart and Waylon Jennings. While the assistance of his fellow country artists is felt, Tritt never loses the sight of his own vision in these ten tracks, and the album is a much more cohesive effort.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

On his previous effort, it almost seemed like Tritt was trying too hard to keep a rock-and-roll attitude while playing all-out country. But the material on Ten Feet Tall And Bulletproof revels in its country roots, while occasionally tipping a hat to the style of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Maybe Rossington's co-writing two songs helps, but Tritt proves on many occasions that he can capture that feeling all on his own.

The title track has more of the country kick to it, but Tritt soon expands his horizons on songs like "Foolish Pride" and "Hard Times And Misery". Thing is, this time around, the sound feels more natural than before - and the overall result is more enjoyable. (Tritt also does something that's nearly unheard of in the country world - he stretches a few songs out for more than four minutes, a surprising and welcome change.)

The addition of Williams and Jennings on vocals for "Outlaws Like Us" creates a beautiful track, though I would question whether Tritt is truly an "outlaw" a la Jennings. Tritt's persona reminds me more of some of the bikers I have known in my time: rough-looking at first, but really nice people when you get to know them. Likewise, Stuart's guitar work helps to enhance the tracks he plays on, even though he never takes the spotlight away from Tritt. (Also worthy of note: Bela Fleck lends his banjo skills to "Southern Justice".)

And as much as I like the song "T-R-O-U-B-L-E", the album as a whole left me a bit cold. No one track stands out like that on Ten Feet Tall And Bulletproof, but instead the whole album is a pleasure to listen to. Consider that a big step in the right direction for Tritt.

Rating: B

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