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Edens Edge, ‘Edens Edge’ – Album Review

Edens Edge
Big Machine Records

There’s a thread of instability that weaves in and out of each song on ‘Edens Edge’ that makes it an album you look forward to finding in the morning. Lead vocalist Hannah Blaylock tells stories like a woman who’s lived through a few too many bad boyfriends, but still wants to show her friends she can smile about it. She’s all over the place — country’s equivalent of Jess from ‘New Girl’ on Fox.

In real life, Blaylock may be a model of stability, but alongside bluegrass pillars Dean Berner and Cherrill Green, she’s given space to take her dramatic emotions to the edge again and again. The result is 10 mostly fun — but often delightfully woeful — bluegrass and gospel-fed country songs.

Blaylock and company’s singing is right out of church. On the first single, ‘Amen,’ she brings it like a southern preacher. The band is strongest on songs that feature Berner and Green’s guitar, dobro and mandolin playing. ‘Too Good to Be True,’ ‘Cherry Pie’ and the bluesy, Telecaster-drenched ‘Who Am I Drinkin’ Tonight’ are all highlights.

Are you a Kenny tequila / Buffet margarita / or an Alan Jackson hurricane / Are you a good time / Glass of moonshine / Going George Strait to my brain,” Blaylock asks on the latter. At times she sounds like Shania Twain or Miranda Lambert, but mostly this trio’s harmonies are unique to Nashville.

Ballads like ‘Last Supper’ and ‘Feels So Real’ don’t rely as heavily on the support group, and as a result they’re somewhat generic musically. Both are still fine songs; Blaylock’s vocals are sharp and passionate. She co-wrote ‘Last Supper,’ but said the song isn’t about an ex-lover of hers.

This is a much more professional debut album than most Nashville artists hope for, but their spirit isn’t lost in production. They’ve succeeded in giving country fans a glimpse of who they are without revealing too much of what’s ahead. The future is bright for Edens Edge. This neat and tidy, 37-plus minute record is one to keep coming back to even after future releases from the trio.

4 Stars

Listen to Edens Edge, 'Amen'

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