Fortuneteller's Melody

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More than ever, SHeDAISY occupies the middle ground between contemporary country and rootsy adult pop on Fortuneteller's Melody, walking the fine line that separates Shania Twain and Sheryl Crow. As a matter of fact, Crow co-wrote two of the songs on Fortuneteller's Melody, which gives a good indication of where the hearts of the Osborn sisters lie on their fourth album. This is music that's country in marketing and name; if judged by sound, it's much closer to the bright, sunny pop of Crow's C'Mon, C'Mon than it is to Gretchen Wilson, Miranda Lambert, or even Shania at her poppiest. What's nice about this album is that SHeDAISY doesn't try to run away from their pop inclinations -- they embrace them, from the hard rock guitars that push "Kickin' In" along to the sweet, surging pop of the opening pair of "23 Days" and "Whatever It Takes." Although this record is not without its missteps, most egregiously on Jann Arden's "God Bless the American Housewife," which is too cute and calculating, there's no denying that this is not only the most comfortable and confident the trio has been on record, but it's also their most consistent set of songs. This is due to Kristyn Osborn, who co-writes all but one of the album's 12 songs with a variety of professional writers (the aforementioned "God Bless" is the only one she didn't pen), and she's wound up with a set that's both varied and solid, and SHeDAISY's best record yet. It may be too pop for some country fans, but for those who found Sheryl Crow's Wildflower a tad too subdued, this might be the follow-up to C'Mon, C'Mon they longed to hear.

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