James & Dean

Over the Edge

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James & Dean's album Over the Edge is a little like taking a lesson in heartland rock. There is the "two kids making it out of this town" song ("Joe and Lorene"), there is the "what happened to our small town" song ("Fourth and Main"), the open road anthems ("Memory of Myself" and "Fire Red Thunderbird) -- they are all here in fine form. This is not necessarily a bad thing; in fact, these two have the John Mellencamp formula down perfectly, from the mandolins and organs to the Springsteen-esque delivery. But there is nothing like the real thing, leaving this album to be an entertaining listen, but not something that you would listen to over The Lonesome Jubilee. Fans of heartland rock may find this quite enjoyable, but casual listeners may want to avoid this if that genre does not appeal to them.

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