Album review: Courtyard Hounds, Amelita (Columbia)


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The Independent Culture

This second offering from the side-project of Dixie Chicks Emily Robison and Martie Maguire errs on the saccharine side of their character, despite the impression given by the opening track “Sunshine”, a sassy jab at a disdainful pessimist.

That song's pro-optimism stance extends to more Pollyanna-ish naiveté later on, in tracks like “Aimless Upward” and “The World Smiles”, which contain lines as gauche as “We are seeds with promises to keep” and “If I believe in the good stuff and open my eyes up, the world smiles”. The dominant mode throughout is tepid bluegrass, heating up a little for “Phoebe”, which anatomises a vengeful loner's early development as a result of teenage ostracism in “a small town spell, your living hell”.

Download: Phoebe; Sunshine