Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace
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Between Raising Hell And Amazing Grace (DMD Album)
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On their third album, Big & Rich bust down the doors of country music with new sounds, new energy and new audiences. The title Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace describes not only this collection but also Big & Rich themselves. Thank heaven for Big & Rich!
At the height of their 2004 "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" fame, Big & Rich's one lament was that radio didn't know what to do with them, even though they sold two million copies of their debut album, Horse of a Different Color. Their follow-up, 2005's Comin' to Your City, likewise failed to score a Top 10 single, but still went platinum. Now comes their third album, and their first single, "Lost in This Moment"--an overtly emotional ballad about getting hitched--is selling like Gatorade at a chili cook-off. Are Music City's most likeable lunatics playing it safe? Well, it sounds that way. And if that's a disappointment, given their initial rollicking (and much needed) assault on staid Nashville, there's more bad news. Big Kenny's loopy songs of peace, love, and hippified unity (especially the overblown "Eternity," featuring John Legend) now sound so familiar, replete with Pentecostal blathering ("Brothers and sisters..."), you can sing along the first time you hear them. The duo sequences the album like a vinyl disc of old, with a virtual A-side (ballads) and B-side (rockers). Not surprising, the B-side wins, even if "Radio" owes too much to the self-aggrandizing hullabaloo of Comin' to Your City and Wyclef Jean drops by to rap a few country clichés. It takes an awfully long time for this album to be fun, but it eventually does, with an AC/DC cover ("You Shook Me All Night Long") and a Brooks & Dunnish turbo-tonker ("Loud"). Fans of Big & Rich already understand that they take their spirituality as seriously as their sinning. But next time, here's hoping they spend more time in Saturday night, and less in Sunday morning. --Alanna Nash
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And, not only do Big and Rich draw an adult crowd of fans, but children as well. My almost four-year-old nephew is their biggest fan and well on his way to knowing all the lyrics to this amazing album.
Big and Rich are the future of music as the genres are more and more combined into one world of music.