Emerson Drive

Believe

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AllMusic Review by

Canadian country boy banders Emerson Drive have all the necessary ingredients to be a hitmaking machine -- looks, talent, a work ethic that makes other acts seem lazy in comparison -- yet the group always hovers somewhere below the break-out point. The band's first three albums

were stacked with some of the best songs the Nashville publishing community had to offer, but lady luck, outside of the number one hit "Moments" from the band's third disc, Countrified, has so far refused to cooperate. Believe, Emerson Drive's fourth album, sticks to the well-worn formula of the group's previous releases. The ten-track collection overflows with soaring lead vocals, airtight harmonies, and shimmering instrumentation that sits somewhere between the pop/rock and country worlds. Frontman Brad Mates twirls and curls his voice around some of the most slickly produced pop-country candy ever laid down on record. Mates' partners in crime rise to the occasion and paint the ten tracks every color of the musical rainbow. Tunes like the heart swelling "That Kind of Beautiful" and the reflective "That Was Us" belong at the top of the U.S. charts alongside hits from the likes of Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban. The album highlight, the piano and string doused "Your Last," is a lump-in-the-throat masterpiece. Mates has a tear in his voice as he slips into the skin of a man reeling from the ultimate loss, the loss of the woman who shared his bed, his life, and his heart. On Believe, Emerson Drive prove they still have a lot of faith left as they continue to reach for the top.

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