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The Wreckers - Stand Still, Look Pretty
Review By Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist

When I saw Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp with their beautiful Gibson acoustics and sparse backup band do "Leave The Pieces" on Leno, I was blown away. It was incredibly refreshing good music. I had to hear more. So I got the disc and have been listening to it incessantly. An amazing recording with some great tunes.

Branch has been a name-known artist for awhile, her friendship with blond beauty Jessica Harp who is a Nashville singer-songwriter is six years old. The combination is magical. They are made to sing and play together. They also wrote all of the songs except for two. Patty Griffin gave them one. "One More Girl", which is a slow edgy, rock sounding song about what most guys look for in women.

John Levanthal (Roseanne Cash) produced the whole CD except for two songs, one being the bouncy "Leave The Pieces", which was produced by Branch and John Shanks. This song has incredible harmonies and is a hit waiting to happen. Great, light weight slick production.

The song that caught my ear was "My, Oh My", produced by Paul Worley (Dixie Chicks and mega other Nashville acts). Worley brought in great Nashville session players Stuart Duncan/fiddle and mandolin, Shannon Forrest/drums, Randy Kohrs/Dobro and Biff Watson/National guitar. Really love this upbeat country sounding song, reminds me of early Dixie Chicks. Michelle Branch said that she would like Worley to produce a whole CD for her in the liner notes.

Levanthal does a great job of getting an audiophile organic sound in the mix, playing most of the instruments in the songs he produces. It's hard to tell from the liner notes whether the girls play their guitars or not, doesn't matter, great overall sound, mastered very well by Stephen Marcussin of Marcussin Mastering.

"Stand Still, Look Pretty" is an appealing, slow song about getting around in the music world as a woman. Their vocals say more than that, they sound so good.

"Cigarettes", sung by Harp, is a great song about the road of life and finding true love. "Tennessee" is another very pretty song that Harp sings. Neither has a country accent or fakes one, which is refreshing.

Overall, I find this to be a refreshing change of pace in music this year, A CD of just great well recorded and performed music.

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