II (Epic, 2000)
Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz
Sisters Heather and Jennifer Kinley have the sibling harmonies down pat. That's certainly the highlight on their sophomore pop country effort. They're very good at trading off vocals and singing harmonies. The Philly natives have strong, powerful, pretty somewhat husky voices.The songs - five penned by the Kinleys - are very high on the radio friendly, pop country quotient. They strip Radney Foster's "I'm In," who produced about half the album, from its rootsy feel by going for a bigger, churning sound. Except for "That's Gonna Mess You Up," "Somebody's Out There Watching" and "Here," the album is almost devoid of country instrumentation. Typical is the big sound on "If I Ever Needed You" with guitars and strings pushing it musically with the vocals ever strong as well."When the Blues and My Baby Collide" slow it down a notch in a bluesy effort, a welcome change of pace.Not everything works. "You're Still Here," while strong on its own terms, suffers from sounding like too many other songs. There's just too little musical and vocal divergence here. The musical horizons could stand some expanding.Aside from that, there's no soph slump here.