Monday, April 11, 2011

That Nashville SoundBites- Thompson Square- Thompson Square

That Nashville Sound receives many different CD releases throughout the year from indie, small majors, bluegrass and artists just off the mainstream radar- or smaller projects like EPs- that we’re doing short mini CD reviews on. We call them That Nashville SoundBites- it’s a feature that will allow us to give some props to some albums and artists that deserve a spotlight on their work.

The Review:
While the album came out earlier this year, the second single released off of the album, “Are You Going To Kiss Me Or Not,” has been making a steady trip up the charts and has just hit #1 this week after an incredible 36 weeks on the charts. The married couple made up of Kiefer and Shawna Thompson didn’t fare as well with their debut single “Let’s Fight”- a cute little number about kicking the doldrums out of a feisty romance with a good fight and make up session. It shamefully never cracked the Top 50. The band has some serious skill and some major potential. Shawna, the female lead, has a beautiful voice reminiscent of Deana Carter and her understated performance on the song, “Glass,” is beautifully well-executed. She shows another sultrier and soulful side on “If It Takes All Night” that’s equally strong. The problem here is in the production, however. Jason Aldean's road band, Tully Kennedy, Kurt Allison, David Fanning, and Rich Redmond, co-produced the album. And if there’s one obvious revelation about their style, it is that they like percussion. LOTS of it. And cymbals. And high hats. And more cymbals. And more high hats. (Perhaps I shouldn’t be so overly surprised at the bombastic production style from a bunch of guys that front country’s heaviest rocker.) Unfortunately, it drowns out the potential charms of the Thompson’s vocals. And on the times that the producers back off the pedal, there's much to like. Unfortunately, much of it just ends up being noise- so much so that it makes it difficult to appreciate the songs for their own merits.

Sounds Like:
A noisy version of Steel Magnolia

Stand Out Tracks
If It Takes All Night
Let’s Fight

The Verdict:
Two and a half stars out of five

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