Boy bands are not exclusive to the pop music realm, they also come
in the country music variety whose selection has included the poppy,
plush country hooks of Rascal Flatts and the gritty rock riffs
of Cross Canadian Ragweed. In between these two is Emerson
Drive, whose latest release Believe fits right in with
modern country parameters holding court with the likes of Little
Big Town, Sugarland and Rodney Atkins. At the helm
is lead vocalist Brad Mates, whose deep-textured register glides
in swiveling bellows that shear across the rhythmic grooves of drummer
Mike Melancon and keyboardist Dale Wallace, as guitarist
Danick Dupelle and fiddle player David Pichette play
up to Mates' vocal prowess.
Believe has its share of mid-tempo, lush ballads and upbeat
romps that all make sense in Emerson Drive's repertoire. The rush
of swells and peaks in "I Love This Road" stimulate the
senses and the country rock rivets of "Livin' It Up" pump
energy into the veins. The soft flickers of "Your Last"
and "Belongs To You" have a slow rocking chair tempo, and
the wispy strokes of "The Extra Mile" induce a pensive shading.
The upbeat pulses of the title track and "This Was Us" are
filled by blazing chord progressions sealed by tight transitions.
The band's lyrics vary like their songs, ranging from the intimate
settings of "That Kind Of Beautiful" to the inspiring "Livin'
It Up" and the pensive toned "That Was Us" as Mates
reminisces, "That was us having fun / Who says youth is wasted
on the young / Glory days come and go / So we just make the most of
the days that we call growing up."
Believe is a pleasant album whether people want to view the
music as modern country, poetic coffeehouse folk, contemporary pop,
or soft rock. Emerson Drive fit all these categories and leave room
to add more to their repertoire of goodies.
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