Label: Columbia Records
Release Date: July 16, 2013
Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this disc, as I was never a fan of The Dixie Chicks, but figured I would take it for a spin regardless. “Sunshine” opens the disc and I am pleasantly surprised as this is quite a left turn for Emily and Martie. The vocals are great and match up well against the guitars and rhythm section. The feel is that more of Americana than country and it plays well. “Amelita” has a cool groove to it that plays nicely against the guitars and vocals. This track leans a little more to the country side, but it isn’t twangy at all. The use of orchestration really enhances the feel of the song and adds a little depth to the track. “The World Smiles” is a bit slow and seems to lack some punch from the rhythm section. The vocals are crisp and seem to pop, especially during the chorus when the harmonies kick in. “Aimless Upward” is similar to the last track, in that it seems to be missing something, especially after listening to the first couple songs. The vibe is a bit laid back, although the harmonies are great during the chorus. “A Guy Like You” is another mellow tune that has a bit of pop to its step, but still not full blown like the opening tracks on the disc. The vocals are spirited and emotional, highlighting the thought behind the lyrics. Again, this duo has the harmonies carved down to a science. “Rock All Night” kicks this disc back into gear. The song features a cool groove created by the guitar, some fiddle, a bit of keyboards/organ, and the stellar vocals. The drums and bass drive this track and keep the songs energy up from open to close. This is one of the better tracks on the disc.
“Phoebe” is another track that gets the foot tapping and the head moving side to side. The lyrical content isn’t quite as fun and light as the music and vocals, but the contrast adds another dimension to the song writing on the disc. This is a great one-two punch with the previous track. “Divided” opens with a cool acoustic guitar accompanied by a little percussion. Soon the vocals jump in and this is a real standout on the disc. Though a bit tempered in its energy and tempo, this song really shines through the rest. The lyrics are inspiring and good for the heart. “”Gets You Down” backs off on the energy and dials up the serious tone with vocals and lyrics. The slide guitar and acoustic guitar play well together and really add to the emotion of the track. The song is strong enough and carries itself without any rhythm section. “Watch Your Step” is fun from the first note. The rhythm section may have taken a break on the last track, but they drive this song. The vocals dance lightly across the landscape and is joined by some great fiddle work that blends well with the guitars later in the track. “The Road You Take” closes the disc and this song really keeps the disc anchored in the serious. The piano and vocal duet that open the track give this a beautiful spin that is enhanced by the drums and bass when they kick in. The chorus features some of the best vocals on the disc. There is no mistaking the fact that Emily and Martie took the right road with this disc.
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