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Sugarland

Incredible Machine [CD/DVD]

Format: CD   Release Date: 10/19/2010
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    Track Title

    Time

  1. All We Are 3:48
  2. Incredible Machine 5:01
  3. Stuck Like Glue 4:07
  4. Tonight 4:33
  5. Stand Up 3:40
  6. Incredible Machine (Interlude) 1:28
  7. Every Girl Like Me 4:13
  8. Little Miss 4:31
  9. Find the Beat Again 2:59
  10. Wide Open 3:14
  11. Shine the Light 5:03
  12. Find the Beat Again 40:00
  13. Incredible Machine 4:13
  14. Every Girl Like Me 4:18
  15. Stand Up
  16. Wide Open
  17. Wide Open [Live]
  18. Stand Up [Live]
  19. Incredible Machine [Video] [Live]
  20. Stuck Like Glue [Video]

Look no further than the Deluxe Edition of Sugarland's Love on the Inside for the roots of The Incredible Machine. On the earlier record's bonus disc, Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles covered the Dream Academy's "Life in a Northern Town," which was originally recorded during the '80s; and the '80s are the inspiration for the duo's fourth studio offering co-produced with Byron Gallimore. The steampunk cover art notwithstanding, the melodies, harmonies, textures, and dynamics for most of the album's 11 tracks are rooted in music from the early MTV-era. The set begins with the anthemic "All We Are," with its church organ and synth intro that give way to clipped, compressed, rockist guitar riffs and a chorus that was influenced by hair metal and OMD. The title track borrows heavily from U2's Joshua Tree period and Simple Minds' post-New Gold Dream era. The drum tracks are big: heavy, clean snare, hi-hat, and kick drums permeate throughout. While the compositions and arrangements in most of these songs borrow heavily from another decade, the production doesn't. Other than the drums, most of the sounds here are processed right from Nashville's sheeny studio system. The album's first single, "Stuck Like Glue," liberally employs Auto-Tune and features a near-rapped faux-dancehall (as in reggae) break in the bridge; it's backed by contemporary country's requisite acoustic guitars, mandolins, and accordion in the foreground juxtaposed with Nettles' voice. "Every Girl Like Me" channels a breakbeat snare, a stiff, funky bassline, and something that attempts a soul groove. "Find the Beat Again" and "Wide Open" are open nods toward new wave. Sugarland have always engaged their love of earlier rock and pop in their brand of contemporary country; just never so blatantly. The bottom line is, that after selling more than four million records, Bush and Nettles seem to be writing songs they hope will crossover to a larger market. The Incredible Machine is a collection of competent songs, held together by slick production. [The Deluxe Edition of the album includes a bonus DVD, whose contents include the video for "Stuck Like Glue," a live video version of the title track, and a documentary on the making of the album] ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi

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