The McClymonts,
Wrapped Up Good
(Fontana, 2011)

I guess Keith Urban wasn't enough. Now Australia -- which, for a country that is not America, has developed a large country music industry -- has sent us the McClymonts, a trio of sisters who sound like Shania Twain tripled. Up-tempo songs abound with loud, falsely enthusiastic vocals and periodic energizing cries like the ones you hear from aerobics trainers leading classes.

The opening number, "Kick It Up," even begins with a Shania-like call to the audience -- "Are you ready to kick this thing up?" -- and features a chorus that sings of the need to "kick this mother up another notch" because "this party ain't for shrinking violets." "He Used to Love Me" starts out slow, with a nice, dreamy balladlike feel, but soon enough the McClymonts feel a need to kick it up, so that it sounds like everything else on the album.

Anybody who has followed Keith Urban's career knows that he began it all, back in the days when he was leading the country power trio, the Ranch, as the holy hell-raiser of country rock. With each succeeding solo album, though, he emasculated his music to the point that it became what it is today. I'm afraid the McClymonts, in their efforts to capture the American market, have also emasculated their music.

I'd like to hear an album of them being themselves, instead of who they feel they need to be to succeed.

[ visit the artist's website ]

music review by
Michael Scott Cain

7 April 2012

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