May 07, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT
We gave it a B-

On his fifth album A Place in the Sun, country’s favorite underdog runs through a mishmash of touchy-feely emotions, teenage hormonal rushes, and bleeding-heart pledges, all to appeal to his legion of female fans. It’s only when McGraw gets to the hard truth of relationships — in Deryl Dodd and Blake Chancey’s honky-tonk ”She’ll Have You Back” — that he begins to look more like the man for the job, and less like a wimp who got lucky. B-

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