For all of the claims that Emerson Drive is nothing but a group of good-looking guys who were put together to capitalize on the boy band craze earlier this decade, Emerson Drive has proven to have honest-to-goodness musical talent and except for a couple of tracks and places on their new album "Believe," they are playing the music that you hear on the CD, something that's still not that common among Nashville-based groups. Over the course of the ten tracks that make up the "Believe" album, there are multiple times where the band of lead vocalist Brad Mates, pianist/vocalist Dale Wallace, guitarist/vocalist Danic Dupelle, fiddler David Pichette and drummer Mike Melancon get to flex their musical muscles.
The record kicks off with "That Kind of Beautiful" and while the song has certainly been written and performed many times before, it serves as a nice up-tempo kick-start to the record. "Believe" is a fiddle-laced track which is not only catchy but features folk pop singer Shawn Colvin ("Sunny Came Home") as one of the songwriters, with album co-producer Josh Leo. The song could really do well on USA radio if it were to get released as it's all about learning to have confidence in yourself and tells people that you can accomplish anything if you just believe in yourself and what you're doing. First single "Belongs To You" is a nice ballad that finds Mates singing another song with well-worn lyrics while "Your Last" finds the group playing the part of a man who hope to be the last 'everything' a woman's gonna need.
"I Love This Road" and "Life Down Here" both fun, get in the car and drive songs while the Bonnie Baker, Paul Sikes penned "The Extra Mile" sure sounds and feels like a big old radio and award-ready hit for the group. While Emerson Drive has had a hard time being able to deliver consistent hits to country radio, there's more than enough on "Believe" to believe that the group will be around for more than a few more albums to come, which just goes to show you that Emerson Drive is no processed boy band.