Sound — 8
Country pop magnates Lonestar have a penchant for inspiring love in their sun-kissed melodies, and the band's latest CD Party Heard Around The World is no different. After making one lineup adjustment which placed Cody Collins on lead vocals to fill in the gap left by the departure of vocalist Richie McDonald, Lonestar have continued where they left off pursuing a romantic flavored country that is not too sweet or feigned. Tracks like Beat (I Can Feel Your Heart) and Live, Laugh And Love have a generic country pop throbbing akin to the feel good vibes of Lady Antebellum with guitar riffs that stretch out and flex etching wavy crests and troughs along the chord progressions. The more sedate canter of She Wants What She Wants complements the conciliatory tone of Collin's vocals, which brim with starry-eyed optimism in You're The Reason Why as Michael Britt's guitar solo showers a blast of compressed chords that produce rows of fire-crackling shards. The husky tone of Britt's guitar swizzles in Y.O.U. interlock with the heavy-footed thuds of Keech Rainwater's drumming erecting rocky swells reminiscent of Montgomery Gentry as keyboardist Dean Sims strengthens the pounding and whipping which flares into a continuous stream. The band weaves boughs of summery hues in Making Memories and Let Me Love You creating an ambience fitting for romantic love, then switches to cuts with a harder edge in Goodbye Is Goodbye. The soft country beading of The Future produces a soothing rapport between the tingling sensations of the guitar bows and the calming rhythmic swells. Conversely, the title track is a country rock number that cranks up the towering infernos of the guitar burns while boasting hard kicks in the drum strikes which bump-up the grit and muscle in the country-toned filament.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics tap into people's leanings for romantic tales, their feelings of loss and their eagerness to unleash emotions that feel oppressed like in Live, Laugh And Love with verses that profess, I'm gonna burn up the highway / Chase my dreams / Do things they say can't be done. Sometimes the lyrics are bent towards becoming potential anthems like the title track with words that resemble a motivational speech, Jump on the hood and play air guitar / Welcome to the party / The party heard around the world / Ain't no stopping when we're rocking til they're dancing in Timbuktu. The romantic side in the lyrics have a PG-rating like with Beat (I Can Feel Your Heart) when Collins confesses, Suddenly I can't breathe / Two souls collide from twenty feet Without a word / Both giving in.
Overall Impression — 8
Lonestar may have a new lead singer but the group hasn't lost their sense of making music that revels in rising above heartache and despair. Perching themselves on Cupid's wings and assisting romantic dreams to come along, Lonestar's music has a summery feel with cruising rhythms and easy listening amplitude. They tread the lanes between country and mainstream pop and knead in some motivational kicks and guitar burns that spew homegrown rock. The songs are geared towards attracting people that are experiencing the first fruits of love, and their first bitter taste of love lost. The album is a bit generic sounding, but still the tunes are catchy and bodes well with people's lifestyles.