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Brei Carter

Smiling EP

Review by Gary Hill

It seems to that there have been several movements in country music in the last decade or two. One has been a shift toward pop music or rock music, essentially removing the things that made it country music in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience. Almost as a response to that, there has been push to bring more of those pure old-school country elements into the genre. I tend to prefer the stuff that leans more toward the old-school stuff. I mean, if you want to do country, do country. Don't do pop and call it country music. Well, this new three-song EP seems to do a great job of working a middle ground between the two. Musically it does lean a bit toward the mainstream end of the spectrum, but the vocals deliver that country sound with style and passion. This is a great set leaving the listener wanting to hear more. I call that a success.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Country Choir
I love the cool rocking sound brought by the guitar. The tune has some catchy modern country hooks to it, but with a serious twang. This is really the best of both worlds.
Smiling
The title track is more of ballad. It's a bit less old-school in terms of country edge. Yet, it's not really modern, either. The guitar fills lend more traditional country to it. Even so, the electric guitar solo is set in a new rock zone. The bridge feels a bit soulful and modern pop oriented. That bit feels a bit over-produced to me, and doesn't really seem to fit the song. Still, the overall tune works well.
Yours
Another that lands more in a balladic zone, this one leans a bit more on fhe modern country sound. That said, this is definitely not over-produced or overly pop-based. It just has a bit more of a mainstream element to it. It's an effective number.
 
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