Edens Edge kick off their self-titled debut album with the single that broke them with country audiences. “Amen” immediately showcases the trio of vocalist Hannah Blaylock and multi-instrumentalists Cherrill Green and Dean Berner as artists who mix traditional country roots with a melodic, contemporary sound. It’s a sound that is expanded upon on the rest of the album, including second single, the progressive “Too Good To Be True.” Blaylock is an identifiable vocalist who adds a lot of personality to each song she sings, including the oft-recorded “Swingin’ Door” (which has been recorded by Aussie artist Catherine Britt, Joey Daniels and many more since 2004). The band’s rootsy take on the song definitely makes it the best rendition and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the song a single at some point in the future.
Two of the three tunes mentioned above (“Amen” and “Swingin’ Door”) are part of the four tunes produced by Mark Bright (Carrie Underwood, Scotty McCreery) on the record and the other two are “Last Supper” and “Feels So Real.” “Last Supper” is a powerful ballad that finds Hannah stretching her voice in a way that recalls Delta Goodrem or Celine Dion. It’s a powerful vocal that is backed up by strong harmonies from Cherrill and Dean while “Feels So Real” is another strong song that recalls the great types of songs that Alison Krauss often records.
The other six tracks on Edens Edge were produced by Dann Huff (Rascal Flatts, Hunter Hayes, Keith Urban). “Too Good To Be True” is a fun attitude-filled percussive mid-tempo ballad that sounds good coming out of speakers of any size but is particularly a tasty melodic treat when listening on a set of great headphones (I love my Shure earbuds/monitors). Other standouts from Huff’s sessions include the ballad “Liar,” a song about a girl who has a best friend (a boy) who is going to marry another girl and now she realizes that she’s lied to him and herself for a long time and has in fact fallen for this guy. “Who Am I Drinking Tonight” is a sassy drinkin’ song which manages to weave in many country star names within the lyrics. The record ends with the a-cappella hymn “Christ Alone.” Not to be confused with the other song of the same name, this one is still a compelling listen just the same.
Edens Edge are quite the talented band and they wear their bluegrass roots on their sleeves and are able to deliver a modern country meets bluegrass sound that feels uniquely their own.
Note: The Deluxe Edition of this album is available exclusively at Cracker Barrel stores and includes three bonus tracks.
Note: Amazom mp3 works and syncs to download automatically into iTunes!