Edens Edge ‘Edens Edge' (Big Machine Records)
Heavenly harmonies and stellar musicianship make for a shining full-length debut for country trio Edens Edge.
The self-titled LP includes four tracks originally featured on the band's 2011 EP, including feisty opener “Amen,” which adroitly establishes the group's distinctive sound, a smooth blend of rootsy traditional bluegrass and polished contemporary country.
The Arkansas trio — Hannah Blaylock (lead vocals), Cherrill Green (harmony vocals, mandolin, banjo and guitar) and Dean Berner (harmony vocals, guitar and dobro) — reveals an affection for old-school country with the playful down-home come-on “Skinny Dippin',” which contrasts effectively with the modern pop-inspired sound and abundant attitude of current single “Too Good to Be True.”
Edens Edge shows off its musical chops on the often-covered kiss-off “Swingin' Door,” cowritten by Oklahoma-bred songsmith Brett James. Blaylock's voice seizes the spotlight with the deftly penned heartbreaker “Last Supper,” which she co-wrote. The young singer also co-wrote the clever boot-scooter “Who Am I Drinking Tonight,” which nimbly name-drops many country stars with lyrics like “Are you a Kenny tequila / Buffet margarita / or an Alan Jackson hurricane / Are you a good time / Glass of moonshine / Going George Strait to my brain.”
The album closes with the highlight “Christ Alone,” a newly written a cappella hymn that powerfully showcases the group's tight, family-band-style vocal harmonies.
— Brandy McDonnell