Gloriana takes walk on country's mild side
It all sounds a little too easy for Gloriana.
With four singers - 20-something brothers Mike and Tom Gossin and teenage belters Rachel Reinert and Cheyenne Kimball - who all look and sound like they arrived from Nashville central casting for the next Lady Antebellum or Sugarland, there are reasons to be skeptical about the "realness" of the group and their debut "Gloriana" (Emblem / Atlantic).
Sure, their first single, "Wild at Heart," sounds great, a stomping rock-tinged number that plays like a countrified Fleetwood Mac while it builds some pretty four-part harmonies, and the "Go Your Own Way"-ish "How Far Do You Want to Go?" is just as good.
But in between, there are songs that sound a little too mechanized, from the Martina McBride-ish "All the Things (That Mean the Most)" to the Rascal Flatts-y "The Way It Goes," and songs that sound ill-suited for multiple singers, including the oddly structured ballad "Change Your Mind." There are also droopy ballads, such as "Cry on Command" and "Lead Me On," where Gloriana plays it way too safe and ends up making you wonder how long this partnership will hold.
It's too bad because there's certainly a lot of potential here, something producer Matt Serletic - best known for his work with Matchbox Twenty, as well as the still-unreleased Ryan Star album - mines very well. All that promise will likely make Gloriana country's next sensation, but they will need to dig deeper to land success that's any broader than that.