Album Review: “Love On The Inside” by Sugarland
Sugarland has always been one of the most unique duos on the country music scene, filling the airwaves with new sounds and even an acoustic success with “Stay” that surpassed all expectations. Keeping with their unique style the duo of Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles release their third project Love On The Inside with an introduction to a whole new marketing style that has only been seen in books.
The duo have released a fan edition with more songs and possibly one of five platinum tickets which serve as their version of Willy Wanka’s golden tickets. On top of that the duo secure their new wave success in a vinyl record version of the project. However, does all this hype really fit the quality of this project?
The answer is yes. While Love On The Inside does contain the feel and unique style of country music that fans have come to know and love from Sugarland, it is actually a completely new take on their style in the end. In fact the opening track and first single “All I Want To Do” is about as close as the listener will get to what has become known as the duo’s traditional brand of country. The rest of the tracks contain more twang and soft-core country quality as well as a medley of simple yet effective messages that make it all the more inventive.
Tracks like “It Happens” and “Already Gone” provide the duo’s take on traditional country morals like dealing with a bad day of unfortunate events or leaving home or a loved one behind. These songs add a little flair to the entertainment quality of the work. Songs like “Joey” and “Keep You” are the contrary. In fact “Joey” is written about a tragedy one left open for interpretation by the listener and is done in a mid-tempo beat that actually ads a little more relevance that tear-jerking significance to a heartfelt narrative. Even the simple titled “Love” contains a well established cliche that actually flows over quite nicely. The only really questionable track is “Genevieve” which has Nettles praising a lost girl who is the “love of her life”, but even this is open to listener interpretation as to who this woman really was to Nettle’s character and why they were so close.
The end of the album really gets into the projects excellence. Bush and Nettles provide their own name dropping song for Steve Earle, more of a rock based artist famous for his writing and it’s connection to his own reality and misfortunes. Nettles acts as a woman begging Steve to write her a simple song with no precautions or anything and in the end comically reveals her infatuation for him. The closing track, “Very Last Country Song“, is actually probably the best track the duo has to their record thus far. Not only is the song a great country baled, but it pays homage to all of the genre and what makes it so valuable to fans. Through the use of several stereotypes and realities, Nettles places herself as a woman with nothing but memories on her birthday realizing how the music has helped her through it all and how life lessons and the journey itself have helped shape the genre into its success.
The beauty behind this album in the end is that every listener can have different interpretations as to it actual quality and progression. There are so many different aspects of the music world that have been incorporated finely into their piece of work that it can be seen from many different angles with any combination of results. The fan pack even comes with three new songs that add new spins to the work and two flawless live tracks including “Life In A Northern Town“. In the end this album can be shifty and can be either praised or trumped badly by the critical ears, but it contains everything and anything that could possibly add to Sugarland as a groundbreaking act and is by far one of the better works of 2008.
Produced by Bryon Galimore and Sugarland
*Live tracks produced by Sugarland
- All I Want To Do
- It Happens
- We Run
- Already Gone
- Keep You
- Take Me As I Am
- What I’d Give
- Steve Earle
- Very Last Country Song
Deluxe Fan Edition includes:
- Fall Into Me
- Operation: Mission Vacation
- Life In A Northern Town (Live) (featuring Little Big Town and Jake Owen)
- Come On Get Higher (Live)