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Emerson Drive
Categories: Music, Utrinque Paratus

‘Emerson Drive’

By Leigh E. Rich

Emerson Drive
Emerson Drive

It had to happen sooner or later: Boy band goes country. There is no other way to describe the debut of the sextet known as Emerson Drive—and with blown-dry coifs adorning its J Crew-esque liner notes, the emphasis is on “sex” … at least for the 11- to 16-year-old boot kickin’ demographic.

Unlike their *NSync and Backstreet Boys counterparts, the members of this well-groomed pretty-boy bonanza actually play musical instruments—and a handful of them at that—though the scripting of songs is at present beyond their reach.

Cute 20-somethings attempting to sport an edge but instead looking as if they’ve just returned from a rough day shoe shopping at Cherry Creek Mall, Emerson Drive offers music as exciting as finding the perfect pump. While opening track “Fall Into Me” and closing twanger “It’s All About You” are quite charismatic, particularly the second and third times around, the self-titled release degrades into hokey and banal Gen Y allusions—with trite references to relationship woes and Leonardo DiCaprio on “Say My Name”—and trips into the laughable with “Hollywood Kiss” in which the luscious six harmonize Nashville-style about silver screen starlets. With lyrics such as “She was Marilyn Monroe / Wind blowin’ up her white dress,” Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” this ain’t.

And yet, the 12 cuts on Emerson Drive—much like that tingling pre-blackhead that’s sure to surface—grow on you, rivaling the pop country of Garth Brooks or Billy Ray. “Light of Day” and “I See Heaven” make for darling ballads and “How Lucky I Am” gets those cowboy boots a-tappin’.

Don’t expect the artistry and elegance of Lyle Lovett and other great Texas lovers, but there may be more than gel and mousse at Emerson Drive’s roots. Only time—and a few years of hard drinking—will tell. 

Rich, L. E. (2002, June 26). Emerson Drive: ‘Emerson Drive.’ CU-Denver Advocate.

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