shoot straight to the top of 2013's Unnecessary Albums chart with The Conversation. It's not that it's actively bad – that would be interesting, at least – but that it lacks impetus, panache and compulsion, just for starters. The title track is OK, in an ersatz country-soul way, and the country-pop of “Dry Your Eyes” works well too. But thereafter, things deteriorate rapidly: “Detroit City” is a chugging Eighties rocker in Pat Benatar style, “I Will Always” an insipid country waltz with watery whammy-bar fills, and “Maybe I” simply reminds one how good “Always On My Mind” is. The saddest aspect is the involvement of Richard Hawley, whose twang-tastic fingerprints are all over songs like “Dry Your Eyes”.Indie