Love and Theft: World Wide Open


RIYL: Poco, Jimmy Wayne, Restless Heart

Every once in a while, a country act comes along that opens eyes and ears. Sometimes they’re so good that they also open mouths. Frankly, that may not seem to be difficult when many acts in the genre not only do not write their own music, but also don’t sing it. That might sound harsh, but it’s a fact of life on Music Row these days. But alas, there is a new kid in town, or, should we say, kids. Love and Theft is a trio of young men who can write, sing and deliver three-part harmonies that not only rival the best country has to offer, but also may bring to mind classic country rock acts like Poco and Restless Heart. Their debut on Carolwood, World Wide Open, is one insanely catchy song after another, and a breath of fresh air that could just amount to a hurricane in Nashville. The title track is punchy and powerful, and features the kind of chorus today’s music industry execs drool over, but there are plenty of other gems – like the rocking “Runaway,” the harmony drenched “Don’t Wake Me” and the stunning, goose-bump inducing closer “Drowning,” which is easily the best track on here. If you’ve been meaning to give country music another chance, make this be the band that brings you back. Heck, you don’t even have to dig country, because it’s just as much a pop record. Either way, Love and Theft is a young act with unlimited potential. (Carolwood 2009)

Love and Theft MySpace page

  

Dierks Bentley: Feel That Fire

It’s no secret that most of the music coming out of Nashville’s Music Row is based on formula – a lot of the same songwriters and producers are making the records and making it difficult to distinguish one artist from another. You might see Brad Paisley or Kenny Chesney or Billy Currington on TV or walking down the street in Nashville and immediately know who they are, but that doesn’t mean the casual fan can pick their voice out on the radio. That’s because Nashville has auto-tuned everyone into sounding the same – the same vocal tone, same twang, and in most cases, the same freaking songs. Dierks Bentley falls into that category, and on his latest, and fourth album, Feel That Fire, Bentley has co-written a bland bunch of songs that he seems to almost be going through the motions with. Tracks like “Sideways” and “Little Heartwrecker” will make you tap your feet but you’re not going to remember them five minutes afterward. A pretty duet with Patty Griffin, “Beautiful World,” almost saves the album, but while the likes of “I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes” and “I Can’t Forget Her” are pleasant enough, there are literally thousands of better songs in this formulaic genre alone. Country music surely isn’t going to make any new fans this way. (LABEL: Capitol Nashville)

Dierks Bentley MySpace Page

  

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