The Wreckers: Jessica Harp (vocals, guitar); Michelle Branch (vocals, acoustic guitar); Audley Freed (guitar); Paul Worley (gadulka); John Shanks (keyboards); Craig Young , Ted Landau (bass guitar); Charles Drayton (drums). Erstwhile pop singer Michelle … see full wiki
The Bottom Line: It took a few spins but I fell in line with the rest of those who find The Wreckers sound a worthy follow on the Branchs earlier work.
Original Release Date: May 23, 2006 Genre: Contemporary Country Label: Maverick Records Number of Discs: (1)
I like the Michelle Branch sound. But, its a long way from the Alternative Rock genre to Contemporary Country, from a semi-successful career as a soloist, to group member, but that is what platinum-award winning artist Michelle Branch did in 2005 when she hooked up with friend and songwriter Jessica Harp to form The Wrecker. Apparently after a lot of head banging and gnashing of teeth, the pair released their first album, Stand Still, Look Pretty in 2006 to pretty fair reception.
After listening to the CD a few times now the album doesnt sound too much different from Branches solo efforts; 2001s Spirit Room, 2003s Hotel Paper. To be sure there are fiddles, acoustic guitars, bass, drums, and twangy Telecasters instead of layers of synthesizers, but he overall sound echos Branchs so-far successful formula. And it doesnt hurt that she did most if not all of the lead vocals. But Harp shoulders most of the writing duties including two tracks she wrote on her own: Tennessee track No. 4, and Cigarettes, track No. 7.
The pair wrote one of favorite tracks on the CD, No. 2 Way Back Home. In addition they also jointly penned, Good Kind (track no. 3), My, Oh My (track No. 5), Stand Still, Look Pretty (track No. 6), Lay Me Down (track No. 9), and Crazy People (track No. 12). Branch wrote Rain, track No.11 on her own.
Together the young ladies (long time friends) have created a somewhat distinct sound with tight harmonizing vocals and just enough twang to appeal to country fan and Branchs long-time base alike, though admittedly some Alt. Rock fans may be put off by the fiddle. But the CD strikes the right balance between Pop and C&W drawing on both to create a cross genre that has thus far down well on the charts.
Stand Still, Look Prettys biggest strength however, is also its greatest weakness: its over-reliance on Michelle Branchs already established vocal sound. As I alluded to earlier Jessica never takes the lead and so something truly original is never really forged of the union.
As for me, I like the CD. It took a few spins but I fell in line with the rest of those who find The Wreckers sound a worthy follow on the Branchs earlier work and a showcase for Harps song writing skills. Though I expected a little more creativity from the duo, Stand Still Look Pretty is a fine album full of contemporary country songs that will more than please the musical palette. Whether the CD will be the first and last release from The Wreckers remains to be seen, or heard of you will. Jessica Harp has expressed a desire to pursue the solo album she shunted aside to make Stand Still Look Pretty.
1. Leave the Pieces 2. Way back Home 3. The Good Kind 4. Tennessee 5. My, Oh My 6. Stand Still, Look Pretty 7. Cigarettes 8. Hard To Love You 9. Lay Me Down 10. One More Girl 11. Rain 12. Only Crazy People