What If?

What If?

4.8 5
by Emerson Drive
     
 

Emerson Drive's rocket ride to the upper echelon of mainstream country chartdom was no accident. The stylish, photogenic sextet temper the macho swagger of their pounding country rock with urgent lead vocals and plaintive harmonies, and the message they put forth is that they're a bunch of real men unafraid to wear their hearts on their sleeves. Having massive hits… See more details below

Overview

Emerson Drive's rocket ride to the upper echelon of mainstream country chartdom was no accident. The stylish, photogenic sextet temper the macho swagger of their pounding country rock with urgent lead vocals and plaintive harmonies, and the message they put forth is that they're a bunch of real men unafraid to wear their hearts on their sleeves. Having massive hits does such brawny sensitivity make. "If You Were My Girl" (one of five songs on the disc co-written by Richard Marx) soars and stomps as it tells a tale of all the good things a fellow would do for the girl of his dreams. Sputtering guitars and a wailing fiddle set the pace for "November," before it settles into a reminiscence of new love that is as sweet tempered lyrically as it is rhythmically propulsive. "Take It from Me" breaks free of its quiet opening to evolve into a hard-charging, rockish promise of devotion directed at a reluctant would-be lover. A bonus track, the quasi-power ballad "Rescue," rides a wave of stinging guitar licks and right-there percussion as the harmonies mesh on a high, heartfelt plane in a musical valentine to a woman whose love saved the day. Sounds like this Emerson Drive is a road that goes on forever.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Emerson Drive is contemporary country at its poppiest, a band that is country in name only, with a sound and sensibility much closer to the mellow Californian country-rock of the '70s or the slick MOR of the '80s than to Music City. After all, this is a band that, for its second album, 2004's What If?, has placed all its chits on producer Richard Marx, who is best known for his post-Eagles adult contemporary hits of the late '80s and is a pop craftsman, not a honky tonker. To country purists, this naturally means that Emerson Drive is not something to be taken seriously, and if you're looking for straight-ahead country, these guys don't deliver. But that doesn't mean they're bad. In fact, they're very, very good, a mainstream pop band with appealing tunefulness and a mild country flair. Marx is a perfect fit as producer, and brings out their strengths, whether it's their endearing everyguy persona or good harmonies, selecting a tight set of 14 songs (including four co-written by Marx) in the process. It's a modest album, yet it's also sturdy and well constructed, growing in stature after several plays. Above all, with What If? Emerson Drive proves to be reliable, delivering a record that may not progress far from the band's debut -- it follows the same blueprint, only delving a little deeper into pop -- but is certainly its equal in terms of quality, and is a solid second effort.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/29/2004
Label:
Dreamworks Nashville
UPC:
0600445044524
catalogNumber:
000007112

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Emerson Drive   Primary Artist,Vocals
Paul Franklin   Steel Guitar
Darlene Wallace   Keyboards,Group Member
Brad Mates   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Danick Dupelle   Guitar,Background Vocals,Group Member
Patrick Bourque   Bass Guitar,Group Member
Cliff Colnut   Conductor
David Pichette   Fiddle,Group Member
Dale Wallace   Keyboards
Mike Melancon   Percussion,Drums,Group Member

Technical Credits

Wendy Waldman   Composer
Greg Barnhill   Composer
Derek Bason   Engineer
Steve Bogard   Composer
David Cole   Composer,Engineer
Richard Marx   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Jim Photoglo   Composer
Steve Robson   Composer
Brett James   Composer
Jeffrey Steele   Composer
Tom McHugh   Composer
Brian Dean Maher   Composer
Gary Harrison   Composer
Blair Daly   Composer
Bryan Wayne   Composer
Sally Carns   Art Direction
Brad Mates   Composer
Danick Dupelle   Composer
Pat Allingham   Composer
Todd Cassetty   Enhanced CD Audio Creation
Scott Borchetta   Producer,Executive Producer
Patrick Bourque   Composer
Cliff Colnut   String Arrangements
Tyler McGhee   Enhanced CD Audio Creation
Matthew Prock   Engineer
Denise Roberts   Enhanced CD Audio Creation
Troy Verges   Composer
Bobby Pinson   Composer
Jeremy Stover   Composer
Brandon Kinney   Composer
Hank Williams   Mastering
Mike Melancon   Composer

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