Sugarland: Green and Gold

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Posted December 7, 2010 by J Matthew Cobb in Reviews 1.0

Drink up this Christmas. It might help you cope with some Sugarland’s awkward and uneven holiday fest

A clever album title and festive greenery decorates the outer package. Unfortunately the Christmas spirit is a bit quenched on Sugarland’s first holiday album, and it’s not all Jennifer Nettles’ fault with her awkward shape shifting vocals from safe pop to R&B to old-fashioned country. Most of the album walks through spazzy country-tinged pop and folksy arrangements, 10 tracks that reveal more of the duo’s weakness than strengths: “City of Silver Dreams” bears very little holiday tinkle, especially with its out-front yukalayee, while casting thought-provoking lyrics about a New York Christmas upon a somber slow-moving mood; later, Sugarland brings out the hoedown vibes on the light-comedy “Nuttin’ for Christmas” and “Silent Night” is presented with bilingual verses. Even “Maybe Baby (New Year’s Day),” a warm original led by Kristian Bush, gets a transitional bridge towards the end that loses some of its melodic interest. Save for “Holly Jolly Christmas” and the Aretha Franklin-inspired “Coming Home,” the album will feel apropos – moderately – for Sugarland fans but will seem a bit incomplete and fragmented to the general public.

J MATTHEW COBB

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HIFI DETAILS

  • Release Date: 13 October 2009
  • Label: Mercury Nashville
  • Producers: Byron Gallimore, Sugarland
  • Track Favs: Coming Home, Holly Jolly Christmas

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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