Stand Still, Look Pretty [CD/DVD]

( 6 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Working with her friend Jessica Harp, a country singer, Michelle Branch has revitalized herself and her music with the Wreckers' debut album. Delayed nearly a year while Branch and Harp submitted to a marketing tour with stars of the TV show One Tree Hill, their debut has too much weight for the teen-angst set. The country-tinged Stand Still, Look Pretty is brimming with passion, chock full of beautifully crafted songs, captivating vocals, and tight musicianship. Sheryl Crow is an obvious influence in sound and style, but Branch has an original voice as a writer, and it cries out loud and clear on these intense ruminations on love, heartbreak, and the search for some ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Working with her friend Jessica Harp, a country singer, Michelle Branch has revitalized herself and her music with the Wreckers' debut album. Delayed nearly a year while Branch and Harp submitted to a marketing tour with stars of the TV show One Tree Hill, their debut has too much weight for the teen-angst set. The country-tinged Stand Still, Look Pretty is brimming with passion, chock full of beautifully crafted songs, captivating vocals, and tight musicianship. Sheryl Crow is an obvious influence in sound and style, but Branch has an original voice as a writer, and it cries out loud and clear on these intense ruminations on love, heartbreak, and the search for some inner peace. The rich, surging, Dylan-like ambiance of "Tennessee," with a warm, rumbling organ underpinning the guitar-fired arrangement, is the ideal complement to a complicated tale of lost love and its accompanying melancholy. With banjo, fiddle, organ, and electric guitar lines snaking around each other, and the drums clattering on the bottom, "My Oh My" is a rowdy epiphany about enormous changes coming down in the blink of an eye. Stark and foreboding, with surging choruses and the steady moan of a pedal steel throughout, the title track features Branch in a breathy, Kasey Chambers kinda voice, clearly having a bad day being herself. "I am slowly falling apart," she cries in what becomes an unsettling exercise in self-flagellation. In your face all the way, Branch and Harp are a formidable tandem.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Sometime between the release of her second album Hotel Paper in 2003 and the birth of her first child in 2005, Michelle Branch decided that she was tired of following the adult alternative career path that she'd been pursuing since her 2001 debut Spirit Room. She made no bones about her frustration, memorably posting on her website in late 2005 that she was "tired of sucking ***** to get my music heard" in the course of an inspired rant in which she vented her frustration at the music biz and everything that surrounded it. It was a ballsy move, but it did accomplish its desired effect of loosening the log-jam that stalled her career, particularly her plans to release a duet album with her friend and collaborator Jessica Harp under the name the Wreckers. Branch received resistance from her label, not just because she wanted to trade in her solo career for life in a group, but because the Wreckers were a country duo, and the shift in sound was as risky as the decision to be part of a band. At least it must have seemed that way on paper, but in practice, the duo's debut Stand Still, Look Pretty doesn't seem like a radical departure from Branch's solo albums. Sure, there are fiddles, acoustic guitars, and twangy Telecasters instead of layers of synths, but the album is pitched halfway between Sheryl Crow and the Dixie Chicks, spiked with enough mainstream country-pop sheen to have it fit comfortably next to Miranda Lambert on the airwaves, but not enough to change the overall feeling that this record is a rootsy AAA record at its heart -- not far from Crow and the Dixie Chicks. It's a subtle change from Branch's previous work, but it does pay off significant dividends in a number of ways. First off all, Branch sounds at ease as part of a duo, and this truly is an equal partnership; in fact, Harp bears more songwriting credits than Branch does here, including two cuts that are hers alone ("Tennessee" and "Cigarettes"). Second, the clean-but-natural production is better suited to Branch's strengths than the stilted glossy sound of Hotel Paper, letting her songs stand on their own merits. And if she sounded a little tentative and fuzzy on her sophomore solo effort, she sounds focused here, thanks in large part to working with Harp, who helps draw out the earnest likeability that made Spirit Room appealing. It also helps that the Wreckers, in true country fashion, also cut a few professionally written tunes, such as the glittering opening cut "Leave the Pieces," that help keep this cohesive and entertaining. Not that there isn't a stumble or two along the way -- the anti-fame ruminations of the title track is too navel-gazing for country both in its topic and its moody dirge -- but the great majority of Stand Still, Look Pretty is tuneful, tastefully rootsy, and quite engaging country-pop. Based on this enjoyable album, if Branch decides to ditch her solo career to devote herself full-time to the Wreckers, it'd be a smart decision. [This version of the CD contains bonus DVD material.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/23/2006
  • Label: Maverick
  • UPC: 093624427223
  • Catalog Number: 44272
  • Sales rank: 130,994

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Leave the Pieces (3:30)
  2. 2 Way Back Home (3:18)
  3. 3 The Good Kind (3:46)
  4. 4 Tennessee (4:21)
  5. 5 My, Oh My (3:31)
  6. 6 Stand Still, Look Pretty (2:46)
  7. 7 Cigarettes (3:19)
  8. 8 Hard to Love You (3:52)
  9. 9 Lay Me Down (3:35)
  10. 10 One More Girl (5:18)
  11. 11 Rain (4:06)
  12. 12 Crazy People (3:11)
  13. 13 Tennessee (4:36)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Leave the Pieces
  2. 2 Bonus Material
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Wreckers Primary Artist
Sid Page Fiddle
Larry Campbell Fiddle
Charley Drayton Drums
Stuart Duncan Fiddle, Mandolin
Shannon Forrest Drums
Audley Freed Electric Guitar
John Leventhal Banjo, Bass, Guitar, Mandolin, Percussion, Keyboards
Shawn Pelton Drums
Biff Watson national steel guitar
Paul Worley Electric Guitar
RIck DePofi Percussion, Horn, Keyboards
Michael Rojas Hammond Organ
John Shanks Banjo, Guitar, Mandolin, Keyboards
Randy Kohrs Dobro
Craig Young Bass
Richard Pagano Drums
Abe Laboriel Jr. Drums
Michelle Branch Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Harmony, Group Member
Jessica Harp Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Harmony, Group Member
Technical Credits
Patty Griffin Composer
Wayne Kirkpatrick Composer
Josh Leo Composer
John Leventhal Composer, Producer, Engineer
Gavin MacKillop Producer
Stephen Marcussen Mastering
Paul Worley Producer
RIck DePofi Producer, Engineer
Lars Fox Engineer
Clarke Schleicher Engineer
John Shanks Producer
Michael Muller Cover Photo
Scott Levitin Mastering
Bill Austin Composer
Michelle Branch Composer, Producer
Jennifer Hanson Composer
Jeff Rothschild Engineer
Jessica Harp Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    AWESOME.

    this cd is so awesome, no lie. the vocals&guitar are so pretty, and i dont know the lyrics are great and i just loveit all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Michelle Branch + Jessica Harp = Amazing

    After more than a year of waiting, the long-awaited debut album from The Wreckers is finally available. The Wreckers consists of Michelle Branch, the amazing, widely-known, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, and Jessica Harp, the equally amazing yet unfortunately not-as-widely-known singer/songwriter of the same vein. In late 2004/early 2005, the two decided to collaborate, and thus, The Wreckers came to be. As The Wreckers, Michelle sheds her pop persona and focuses more on Jess's country stylings, providing a contemporary pop/country mix. Stand Still, Look Pretty is the result. The album opens with the duo's first single, Leave The Pieces, which is the kind of song you'd hear on a typical modern country radio station. Right away, the music and lyrics prove to the newcomers the amazing talents of Michelle and Jess while giving die-hard fans more of a reason to love them. Jessica brings The Good Kind, a previously written song of hers, to the plate. This song also appeared on the One Tree Hill soundtrack in early 2005, giving the world their first taste of The Wreckers. The song has changed slightly from the soundtrack cut to the album cut, giving it a bit more country twang than it had previously. While Jess's original version is an in-your-face rock song, The Wreckers have tooled it into a heartbreaking country/pop song in the vein of songs by country artists like the Dixie Chicks, only with more of a pop flavor. Likewise, Michelle brings one of her songs, Lay Me Down, to the project, which fans have been dying to hear more than a 50-second clip of since the days of Hotel Paper. The finished version on this album is a good example of Michelle's talent with lyrics, as well as the girls' vocal range. Elsewhere on this album is a beautiful cover of Patty Griffin's One More Girl, an extremely emotional song, which expresses the emotion that Jess and Michelle can convey with their voices. The title track, Stand Still, Look Pretty, is another of the songs that best captivates the audience with emotion and beautifully-executed lyrics. This is my favorite track off the album and, from my viewpoint at least, it expresses many of Michelle's feelings about her popularity and what's expected of her in the music profession. The closing track, Crazy People, is a decidedly silly song that can only be described as, well, crazy. Listen closely to the lyrics and you'll see what I mean. The Wreckers' official street team is also named Crazy People, which could be taken to mean that they believe that their fans are just as crazy as they are. Or maybe that's just me. Filling out the album are Way Back Home, Tennessee, My, Oh My, Hard To Love You, Cigarettes, and Rain. However, these tracks are by no means filler. Each of these songs displays the raw talent of Jessica and Michelle through their music and lyrics. Way Back Home, Tennessee, My, Oh My, and Cigarettes are more traditional country with a modern twang, while Hard To Love You and Rain are a mix of pop and country flavors. I've been a huge fan of Michelle Branch since Hotel Paper was released in 2003, and I loved her singles from The Spirit Room before I knew it was her singing them. After hearing the announcement of the formation of The Wreckers and seeing them live on the One Tree Hill tour, I was introduced to Jessica Harp's music and became a fan of hers. Now that Stand Still, Look Pretty has hit shelves, and the dynamic duo has started over with a new sound, I've fallen in love with them all over again. This is one album that is hard to remove from your CD player, even if you're not a die-hard uber fan. People out there who don't like country may even have a hard time saying no.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Album

    Love the album. They sound great together and they put on a great show. they are currently on tour with Rascal Flatts. Go check them out

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Masterpiece

    I haven't stopped listening to this album since the day of its release. I have multiple copies so I'm never anywhere without it. If you love country music, you'll love this album. It you like pop music, you'll like this album. Its got a little bit of everything and their harmonies are absolutely amazing. Definitely a CD where you can listen to every song on the album and not skip them. I still listen to it all the way through and I've had it a few weeks. Do not wait any longer, go get this album!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Terrific Album

    The Wreckers' debut album Stand Still, Look Pretty is one of the greatest albums to come out in a long time. Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp are truly terrific together. From the very well written lyrics to the great guitar playing, there isn't a minute of this CD not to love. The CD/DVD version of Stand Still, Look Pretty includes footage of the behind the scenes making of the video for their first single, Leave The Pieces, as well as the finished product.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Debut album worth the wait

    I've been a Michelle Branch for quite some time, and a Jessica Harp fan for just a little less than that, and I must say, addition does not equal subtraction, in this case. Each of these young women have strong, powerful voices, and, together, they are dynamic. "Stand Still, Look Pretty" is great for the country lover, but enjoyable for everyone. Songs like "Stand Still, Look Pretty" and "Tennessee" are raw, emotional, and heart-felt, while "My, Oh My" and "Crazy People" are just plain fun. I'm absolutely addicted to this album, and I can't wait for the Rascal Flatts tour this summer, which is sure to bring these gals a lot of publicity.

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