Thursday, July 18, 2013

Album Review: Court Yard Hounds' Amelita

Amelita is Court Yard Hounds' second album. Court Yard Hounds is a country-pop-folk band started by Emily Robison and her sister Martie Maguire. They were members of the Dixie Chicks. I have never listened to the Dixie Chicks and have never listened to Court Yard Hounds' first album. Amelita is an upbeat, hopeful, fun album. I enjoyed the instrumental parts and the voices are beautiful. However, I discovered that it's not really my style. The songs are all originals, co-written by the sisters and/or people they know. The track that stands out the most to me is "Phoebe".  It's a fun-filled fiddling jam! "Sunshine" is a surprise song because it's about a sarcastic name given to a person who finds ways to bring others down. "The World Smiles" is a happy song of optimism. Other songs that stand out to me include "The Road You Take" (it's about decision-making), "Gets You Down", and Amelita (a warning message to a friend).
  • The new direction is apparent on title track “Amelita,” which has a breezy south-of-the-border sound, or “Phoebe,” which calls in a frenetic, anxious melody, and chillingly close harmonies. Lead single “Sunshine,” co-written by acclaimed singer/songwriter Jonatha Brooke along with Martin Strayer and Alex Dezen, oozes with irony as the girls flash their carefully manicured claws through silken harmonies.
    Robison’s vocals captivate listeners as she sings lead on most tracks, while Maguire co-wrote seven of the 11 songs on the album, penned “Road You Take” herself, and sings lead on “Guy Like You,” which she wrote with guitarist Martin Strayer.
    The girls teamed up with the same producer, Jim Scott, who they’ve had a true connection with since their first album. Surrounding themselves with Jim and guitarist Martin Strayer, who was also an integral part of the first album, the girls took a comfortable and pro-active approach to creating their music this time around. “I think we’ve approached it differently because we felt like okay, we are a band. We aren’t just two ex-Dixie Chicks anymore, we’re a band and we like our sound and we’re going to continue to do this and hopefully get better at it, and share something new this time around,” said Maguire.

    Amelita Track Listing:
    1. Sunshine
    2. Amelita
    3. The World Smiles
    4. Aimless Upward
    5. Guy Like You
    6. Rock All Night
    7. Phoebe
    8. Divided
    9. Gets You Down
    10. Watch Your Step
    11. The Road You Take

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~I participated in this campaign for One2One Network. I received a free copy of the CD in exchange for my honest review. By posting, I am eligible for incentives. All opinions stated are my own.

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