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CD REVIEW: Barbara Harley – “First Glance”
By Stacey Board - 12/12/2002 - 12:21 AM EST

Artist: Barbara Harley
Album: “First Glance”
CD Review: I have an unpleasant confession to make. I’ve become just cynical enough about the music industry to have half a second of worry when I first saw Barbara Harley’s CD. “Uh oh… a very pretty woman in multiple attractive poses”… But never fear! She’s got the goods and “First Glance” is a very good CD.

I can think of another pretty brunette contemporary country artist that writes lots of uplifting songs… Shania. But Barbara keeps her production much closer to planet earth than Ms. Twain’s latest releases. “First Glance” has very professional sounding production quality without leaning anywhere near overproduced gloss.

Barbara and her writing partners Al Lind and Kim Jakubicki write storysongs that are surely right at home anywhere near Harley’s address in Nashville. The subjects are largely about aspects of love and its loss – her own and others. It's a little of the bitter but mostly the sweet. She sings them in a thoroughly pleasing sweet voice with nice range and flawless performances throughout the CD.

“First Glance” contains nice melodies that are simple and go down smooth and easy as Kentucky bourbon. She’s assembled some first rate session players to contribute on every song. They add very nice touches of lap steel, fiddle and mandolin without ever getting in the way. My favorite though is a bit different than the rest. On “I’m Getting Out” there are a few more minor chords and a little more sass and edge in the singing and playing.

I admit that my first glance almost had me forming the wrong first impression, but I think any fan of the Dixie Chicks and other contemporary country artists would enjoy Barbara Harley’s “First Glance”.,

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