This review comes from an internet game. You buy an album you've never heard of from a shop. Then you write your impression of it before and after listening to it for the first time.
---BEFORE LISTENING TO IT---
WHY DID YOU SELECT THIS ONE? The three girls look like they perform pop or rock infused country music. This reminds me of a group called Pistol Annies who are really good. The artwork is nice and detailed (shows signs of imagination and care) and I really liked the song titles, Now That You Love Me and Nothing On But the Radio. I detect a sense of humour.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE COVER? Three girls in cowboy boots sit on a red couch in front of a shop. The bric-a-brac from the shop is piled up around them. It's nice. Not amazing or anything, but it draws you in and makes you want to look at it up close and pick out all the objects. There is a sense of warmth and it's very inviting.
WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC ARE YOU REALISTICALLY EXPECTING? American country music with three female singers. I wouldn't be surprised if Shania Twain is a minor influence. I expect it will slant more towards pop than rock.
BEST CASE SCENARIO IT WILL SOUND LIKE? Like Pistol Annies
WORST CASE SCENARIO IT WILL SOUND LIKE? Slickly produced but very disposable pop songs with a cynically tacked on country twang to it.
HIGH, LOW OR MIDDLING EXPECTATIONS? Almost high.
---AFTER LISTENING TO IT---
WHAT DID IT SOUND LIKE? 85% soft-rock inclined pop, 10% singer-songwriter and 5% country. Pretty bland and inoffensive. The music is mildly tuneful but I doubt you can whistle any of these songs.
DID YOU LIKE IT? It was okay. It's too nice and polite to be anything special. It might grow on me, but I wouldn't expect them to become a significant presence on my iPod. The lyrics are standard generic lines. It's not music that's destined to soundtrack a revolution.
DID IT SATISFY, SURPASS OR FAIL YOUR EXPECTATIONS? Failed as I was hoping for something a bit more solid and memorable.
WHAT ARE THE BEST/WEAKEST SONGS?
1. Ten Year Night 5:16 (6 out of 10)
2. One Day At A Time 4:21 (6 out of 10)
3. January's Child 4:45 (5 out of 10)
It's almost spoken word at times.
4. Angel 4:09 (3 out of 10)
Very dippy lyrics. For published songwriters they should be ashamed as these words could be written by a six year old girl.
5. Now That You Love Me 3:11 (6 out of 10)
The strongest song so far. You can tell this would have been a single. Doesn't have much of an ending.
6. Everything I'm Looking For 3:41 (5 out of 10)
Nice sounding filler.
7. One Good Thing 3:26 (6 out of 10)
8. Nothing On But The Radio 3:40 (7 out of 10)
It's the first song to impose itself musically with any force.
9. Tambourine Song 3:23 (6 out of 10)
`I'll love you like a colour TV,' is a good lyric.
10. Annie 3:21 (6 out of 10)
11. Lights Are Changing 4:45 (7 out of 10)
12. Is This All? 4:57 (5 out of 10)
A ballad with dissimilar production and an atypical vocal style. The first song to sound different from the rest of this rather bland, samey album. It would have been better in the middle instead of here at the back where it can't do any good to break-up the general sound.
Overall 6 out of 10 for the whole album.
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IT TO OTHERS? I wouldn't recommend it, but I wouldn't warn against it. I would though steer people towards the band Pistol Annies as a better alternative.
PLEASE DESCRIBE AND SUM IT UP IN ONE SENTENCE. Bland, middle of the road soft-rock influenced pop with a very slight hint of country.
ANY OTHER COMMENTS? The booklet is annoying. The three singers are not credited with their surnames so you can't tell if they have any writing credits among the many names attributed to the songs. Curiously the publishing of track 10 is copyrighted 1997; and track 12 is 1995 (the album was released in 2002).
Also the lyrics aren't included in full; instead there is just a short fragment from each track. Using the internet I discovered their surnames (their Wikipedia page is strangely hard to find). They did not write any songs. One is American, one Scottish and one Irish. They seem to have been assembled as a manufactured band and they only did this one album.
Now I've taken the time to look at the cover in detail I have to say it was disappointing. I was expecting witty and arcane details that reference the songs or something. Sadly, nothing like that. They're just random objects. Perhaps time and effort was taken to source and place them, but just as likely it was the first things they could get their hands on.
---TWO MONTHS LATER---
HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE PLAYED IT? Probably only twice as an album when I first got it, and a few songs have turned up on shuffle from time to time.
HAS THE ALBUM IMPROVED OR WORSENED WITH TIME? Stayed the same. I thought it was a bit bland and average then, and I still think that.
ANY PREVIOUSLY UNNOTICED SONGS NOW A NEW FAVOURITE? No. Nothing has popped and made any further impression on me.
ANY OTHER COMMENTS? It's innocuous and pleasant sounding so it's still on my iPod, but it's only there for the sake of it. Next time I do a cull to cut the deadwood, the chances of every song remaining are not great. I don't mind it but it doesn't quicken my pulse.