Album Review: Emerson Drive - Roll

The band has held onto a stream of #1 and Top 10 hits in Canada while enjoying periodic hits in the USA. Read on to see what we think of Emerson Drive's latest album Roll, an album which features new USA hit "She's My Kind Of Crazy" and Canadian hit "Let It Roll."

One of the biggest curiosities in the past decade of Country Music has been the spotty success on Country Radio for Emerson Drive. The band plays their music on the albums, has one of the best male voices in Brad Mates and consistently have strong songs that not only suit mainstream tastes but are some of the better lyrically strong songs of any artist working out of Nashville.

On their latest album Roll, the group's third album with Canada's Open Road Records (the band is one of Canada's biggest acts), Emerson Drive showcases their ability to craft music that should be heard all over the radio dial. "We Are This Town" mixes contemporary pop/rock sounds with what has always helped ground Emerson Drive in country music, their twangy fiddler David Pichette and those lyrics - in this case a song which Mates and guitarist Danick Dupelle wrote with Tebey, a songwriter who has gained success in genres outside of his own Country Music foundation.  Tebey's a co-writer on no less than seven of the eleven tracks on Roll.  "Love Hangover" is a beautifully performed track with a lyric that is one of the better ways to equate the feeling of lost love to that of a hangover you just can't shake after a long bender.  "She Always Gets What She Wants" is co-written with Tebey and Canadian Country star Patricia Conroy and it features a moody melody while "With You" is the kind of emotive ballad we've come to expect from the band.

The album's lead single (A Top 10 hit in Canada and just released in the USA), "She's My Kind of Crazy" [watch video] was written by Bobby Pinson, Danick Dupelle and Brad Mates along with Arlo Gilliam. The song features Pichette's fiddle, Dupelle's strong guitars, Dale Wallace's keyboards and a driving back-end percussion from Mike Melancon. It's an ear-pleasing track as are "We Fit Together" and "Alone Tonight." "This Is Our Time" (written by Mates and Dupelle with Tim Nichols) may very well be the best song on the record, an up-lifting sing-a-long ready song about living life in the moment.

When Emerson Drive arrived on the scene a decade or so ago, they were a promising band that melded the best of the Modern Country and Pop sounds into a sound many critics wrote-off as a 'cash in' by Dream Works Records. While the road has been hard at times for the band, they've managed to evolve and change into a band with massive substance and quite a bit of appeal. And along the way the band has learned how to craft their sound into a cohesive, tight and distinctive type of sound, which Roll clearly showcases. 

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