maandag, januari 10

Steel Magnolia:
Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones

successfully answered the question “Can You Duet’’ by winning the second season of that CMT reality competition. On their eponymous debut, the duo known as Steel Magnolia continue their winning ways combining her bluesy bruised angel rasp with his slick, keening country pop tenor. With the help of go-to producer Dann Huff, the romantically involved pair strike a good balance of styles. There are catchy radio-ready gems like single “Ooh La La,’’ “Not Tonight,’’ and the randy ode to recapturing the magic, “Last Night Again.’’

A few tunes flirt with grit, like the bittersweet anthem of foregone conclusions “Edge of Goodbye’’ and the resigned waltz-time closer “Glass Houses,’’ which are both hefty with pathos. And there’s even an interesting left turn in the shockingly fun reggae romp “Rainbow.’’ What doesn’t work here isn’t egregious, just shiny filler that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Target commercial, like “Keep on Lovin’ You,’’ or hobbled by hokum, like the painfully playful “Eggs Over Easy.’’ (Sample lyric: “I ain’t Jamaican but Jamaican me lazy.’’) Those moments aside, Steel Magnolia is poised to grow strong.