What could be more precious than a single 16-year-old female singer in this backwards rush towards the cradle theme of today's country marketplace? How about teaming her with a 14-year-old brother and have both front the songwriting father pulling strings behind the scenes? For good measure toss in a hit single, "26 Cents," to create a market for the disc before release.
Despite all these too-good-to-be-true factors pushing this Canadianfamily's debut, the end result is more pleasing than hokey, more honest than fabrication and more touching than cutesy. Steve Wilkinson is the writer and hits the mark more often than not, though he is still composing adult songs for an adolescent's voice. Amanda is clear-voiced and aided by the fact that she doesn't try too hard either to convince anyone she has lived through these songs or that she is capable of sounding older than her years. Brother Tyler gets very little vocal opportunity but makes the most of it on "Then There's You." "Back On My Feet" is the most powerful number of the 11 cuts. While many are toe-tappers, few display any real insight or depth. Yet "The Yodelin' Blues" and "Don't I Have A Heart" hold up well under repeated scrutiny.
The Wilkinsons may indeed have a long future in country music, but based on this disc they could almost as easily be only the hot current group.