By Moira E. McLaughlin
Friday, December 14, 2012
Edens Edge’s self-titled debut album is slicker than an oil-soaked road on a rainy night. The tunes pop, sizzle and surround a listener in thick arrangements that leave no space empty. The Arkansas trio -- Hannah Blaylock, Dean Berner and Cherrill Green -- shares a record label with Taylor Swift, and this album benefits from Nashville’s talented studio musicians and producers. It continues the trend of sugary pop tunes mixed with country sensibilities and pretty faces.
Blaylock’s strong vocals cut through the layers of arrangements and soar on such songs as “Amen” and “Last Supper,” which is glossy with reverb and background harmonies that provide just the right dark contrast.
But it’s Berner’s dobro that really adds color to the songs and sets the trio apart from other pop-country groups. The instrument is almost like a fourth voice, such as on “Too Good to Be True” and on “Liar,” where it evokes a nostalgic mood.
The lyrics are just what you would expect from good ol’ country tunes: well-painted stories and clever turns of phrase. The album may not challenge the listener and the songs start to blend together, but the band doesn’t try to make it something other than a well-produced, fun and easy pop-country romp.