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The Wreckers

Stand Still, Look Pretty – 2006 (Maverick/Warner Nashville)

Reviewed by Jacquilynne Schlesier

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CDs by The Wreckers

Prior to forming The Wreckers, Michelle Branch had two successful pop-rock albums, while Jessica Harp was trying to find her break as a singer-songwriter in Nashville and singing backup for Branch. This mixes those two sensibilities in an album that's not quite country, but not quite pop.

There are definitely country tracks on the disc. "My, Oh My" lays its cheerful nostalgia for the not too distant past over exuberant fiddle and Dobro. "Crazy People" is a story song in a classic country vein, but one the duo doesn't take too seriously. The lead off single, "Leave the Pieces" bridges the gap between the two worlds, mixing banjo with rock guitars, and country harmonies with pop belting.

Originally from the soundtrack to TV teen drama One Tree Hill, "The Good Kind" reflects Branch's solo work in its contemporary tone. The more introspective songs, including the title track and "One More Girl" have a roots edge, but the vocal delivery is pure pop ballad.

Pop stars making country albums is always dangerous territory, but Harp's contributions, especially her solid songwriting, guide this album through to safety.