Monday, February 28, 2011

Eisley - "The Valley" (8.7 of 10)

Magic, magic, magic. Ok, I've been waiting for this one for a couple of years now - they've had huge contract disputes with Warner Brothers but now, fortunately, have landed on another label. Plus, after their completely magical and lovely first album (Room Noises), they put out a completely mediocre 2nd effort (Combinations), so it's been quite a wait for Eisley fans. Since "Combinations," the 3 DuPree sisters have had, unfortunately, a string of broken hearts and relationships, and it all comes tumbling out here on "The Valley." In a good way. The anger, hurt and disappointment are expressed in honest ways that don't overwhelm the songs, which is an art. To say that I prefer the melodies of Stacy's songs more than the "grittier" sound of Sherri's songs is simply a personal preference, but they're all good here. And both sisters sing their hearts out...with all that they are and all they have. What a performance! "The Valley" also displays an amazing leap of growth and maturity in their songwriting without sacrificing the loveliness of their songwriting. In many ways it could be said that nobody crafts melodies today with that intangible "pixie dust magic" (Gene Simmons' description of ABBA's music) that Eisley does. And that is a gift. And it's such a plus to have their original producer back at the helm! He knows what to do with these gifts of music given to him. The album closes with a glorious flourish of 4 fantastic songs, including the best one - the finale "Ambulance." Don't miss this! Great stuff, highly recommended, and it will take a great effort from other artists to keep it out of my "best of" Top-5 of 2011 list.

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