Picks and Pans Review: Sugarland

updated 11/13/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/13/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST

Enjoy the Ride


Though they went from a trio to a duo—Kristen Hall departed after 2004's double-platinum debut Twice the Speed of Life—the country-pop sounds of Sugarland remain just as sweet on the crowd-pleasing Enjoy the Ride. With lead singer Jennifer Nettles still the driving voice of the group, and Kristian Bush still providing harmony and guitar/mandolin, the twosome carry on without missing a foot-stomping beat. Sugarland continues to connect with the heartland on songs like the small-town anthem "Everyday America" and the nostalgic romp "County Line." On the defiant opener "Settlin'," Nettles strikes a blow for the Everywoman: "I ain't settlin'/For just getting by/I've had enough so-so/For the rest of my life." Meanwhile, the sentimental closer "Sugarland" paints a place that is, more than anything, a state of mind.

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