Release Date: Feb 1, 2011
Record label: Warner Bros.
Genre(s): Country, Contemporary Country
The bigfoot stomp of the JaneDear girls’ debut album isn’t entirely unfamiliar ground for producer John Rich, but he’s not exactly forcing his Big & Rich gonzo blueprint upon Susie Brown and Danelle Leverett either. Brown and Leverett are commercially savvy enough to know what sells, whether it’s the va-va-voom glamour of their album cover or the Auto-Tuned vocals on the Miranda Lambert-meets-Carrie Underwood thump of “Merry Go Round,” and they have a hand in the writing of every song here. Sometimes this professionalism results in a tad too much slickness, particularly when the duo eases into ballads that surge so strongly no emotion registers, but when the JaneDear girls are flirting with tacky, spangly four-four beats and hook-heavy crossovers, they wind up with appealingly glitzy, crisp country-pop.
Another week, another shrill country duo making a horrible first impression. Whereas Steel Magnolia wastes their legitimately strong voices on dull, hook-less material, the JaneDear Girls use a couple of catchy melodies and garish costumes to mask the fact that they can’t sing even a little bit, and, if they could, wouldn’t have a single authentic thing to say. In other words, they’re exactly what country music, in the throes of a pretty severe identity crisis, doesn’t need right now: its own Katy Perry.
Yuck The British band Yuck has all the lazy affect of late-1980s to early-1990s indie rock, its guitars tuned to somewhere just north of indifferent. But this band’s self-titled debut (on Fat Possum) is disarming all the same, certain to be one of the year’s most unabashedly beautiful albums ….