Monday, May 21, 2007

Settlin’ (2006) – Sugarland

As it incorporated elements of rock and pop, country music came to fill the role that Top 40 radio once played in the ‘80s: an accessible, family friendly, song-oriented means of commemorating the week. While country music continues to be sidestepped and written off by a large contingent of music fans, it should occur to them that this is about as mindlessly fun as it gets nowadays. With indie music having become a function of blog repute and torrent traffic, sometimes it’s nice to blissfully ignore indie cred, let go of pretensions, and appreciate music that’s meant to get in your face with uncouth shamelessness. Head on down to your local Wal★Mart and Sugarland’s Enjoy The Ride awaits you in abundance. The album’s second #1 single, “Settlin’,” features Jennifer Nettles’ voice in exemplary form, its flat, pronounced twang inelegant enough to immediately chafe listeners as it grates into the consciousness like a bleating sheep, yet unassuming in its down-home congeniality, at times exhibiting a soulful warmth that incites the inner hombre into firing the six-shooter skyward in celebration. Nettles’ resolution to aspire to nothing less than excellence in love and life culminates in a chorus that is apt to hijack the hippocampus in boardroom meetings, finding an ally in economical guitar riffs that stab with adamance as if Rick Springfield showed up at the session to hitch a ride to the top of the charts. Indeed, there’s room for everyone on this country bandwagon, if only for want of willing passengers.

  • Listen to "Settlin'" and purchase from iTunes Music Store.
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