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The JaneDear girls

The JaneDear girls – 2011 (Warner)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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Based on the name of this duo - Danelle Leverett of Texas and Susie Brown of Utah, - you'd think that there might be some sort of humorous quality to them. That is not exactly the case with their debut disc, which recalls bands like SheDaisy. In other words, there is a lot of gloss and big sounds. Everything attempts to be radio ready pretty much from the start with the current charting single Wildflower to the closing Every Day's a Holiday.

The highlight is the back-and-forth vocals and harmonies. Their voices work quite well together throughout. They soar on Saturdays in September where there is a liveliness. The follow-up, Sing Along, comes close, but, like much of 11-song CD, comes off as formulaic.

The songs themselves are adequate - there's enough pop to them, but that is a bit of a double entendre. The problem is that the sound - all uptempo, blazing guitars, fast and furious - pervades the CD. Incorporating "Waylon, Willie and Merle" into the lyrics of Shotgun Girl is part of the usual, but failed attempt, to connect artist with country touchstones. The fact that John Rich produced means the big sound is no surprise. In fact, one could imagine his (former?) band Big & Rich doing some of these songs.

The JaneDear girls are apparently doing exactly what they wanted to do. "We like our guitars loud, our fiddles ripping and a steady beat that makes people want to dance!" Leverett said on the group's web site. Too bad they didn't show more diversity in their musical selection. A little less may have resulted in a lot more.