Stand Still, Look Pretty

REVIEWED BY CHUCK ARNOLD

COUNTRY

Give Michelle Branch credit for shaking it up: When she made her recording debut with 2001's platinum The Spirit Room, the then-17-year-old singer-songwriter was a refreshing alternative to the Britneys and Christinas of the world. Then she went and gave Santana a little TRL cred with the Grammy-winning hit "The Game of Love." Now, rather than releasing the follow-up to 2003's Hotel Paper, Branch is throwing yet another curve by hooking up with her former backup vocalist Jessica Harp to form the new country duo the Wreckers. They deliver a satisfying disc that should earn them some props in Nashville circles, while keeping Branch's pop fans happy. The CD kicks off with "Leave the Pieces," a twangy tale of heartbreak that is worthy of the Dixie Chicks. Things get even more rootsy on the bluegrass-tinged foot-stomper "My, Oh My," which showcases how these two make sweet harmony with voices that are difficult to tell apart. On standout tunes like the aching title track and the aptly titled "The Good Kind," they display how well they also blend as writers.
[STARS 3]

DOWNLOAD THIS: "The Good Kind"