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CD REVIEW: Holly Gentry - So Much More
By Cyrus Rhodes - 03/13/2013 - 02:17 PM EDT

Artist: Holly Gentry
Album: So Much More
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Country/Folk
Sounds Like: Reba MCentire, Dolly Parton, Shania Twain Kelly Pickler
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 7/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: You Know You Should, Pretty Girl, Aint’ No Way to Do
Weakness: A few winded songs, short sided CD
CD Review: Holly Gentry, an Atlanta based singer/songwriter, is thrilled to release her debut album, So Much More. Drawing on her South Georgia roots, Holly’s music is tinged with country, blues and southern rock. This musical foundation stems from years of listening to an amalgamation of artists that only the Deep South provides. Her strongest influences are her mentor Rhetta Butler, Pat Benatar, Stevie Nicks, Rory Bloch, Deana Carter, Brandi Carlile, The Eagles, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the majority of female country singers who rose to fame in the 90’s. The songs recorded on So Much More reflect personal stories and recollections, which surfaced through Holly’s transition from young woman, to professional, wife and mother.

The CD quickly takes flight with Track 1 “Rockin on the Inside” a passionate intro piece that serves up driving rock rhythm, against an inviting vocal groove and well placed harmonies from Gentry. Track 2 “You Know You Should” is an impressive follow-up piece that serves up impressive R&B and slide guitar licks, thought provoking lyrical content against a grand slam chorus. Track 3 “Justin Timberlake Show” keeps thing moving in the right direction with its slamming guitar intro, infectious groove and seductive vocal delivery that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As this CD slowly unfolds would classify this music as a very marketable Modern Contemporary Country with a Power Pop edge. Comparables are Reba MCentire, Dolly Parton, Shania Twain, Kelly Pickler, Kerri Underwood, and even Leann Rimes. The production quality is impressive and the musicianship of everyone involved is clearly above the bar. Along the way you will notice lush instrumentation with things like Saxophone, accordion, lap steel, fiddles, piano, organ, keyboard accents, horns, slamming guitar licks and solos, combined with lush harmonies layered everywhere. The rhythm section pushes the natural accents well. Now turning our attention over to Gentry - as for her vocal abilities she has an impressive and entertaining mezzo soprano with notable falsetto and appealing vibrato delivery. Her voice also works well within the confines of this power pop/country catalogue. Reading now from her bio: To realize her dream, Holly enlisted the help of producer Brian Molin and Grammy winning producer and engineer Don McCollister. Don McCollister has confirmed his platinum success as a producer with such top selling artists as Sister Hazel, Indigo Girls, Third Day, Shawn Mullins, and Caedman's Call. The majority of the album was recorded at Nickel and Dime Studios in Avondale and at The Quarry in Kennesaw, GA, where Molin brought together a stellar band of Atlanta and Athens notables. From heartfelt “Hold Me” and bluesy “So Much You” to grooving “Pretty Girl” to melodic “Aint No Way to Do” this CD has something for just about everyone. There’s even an impressive remake of 80’s Paul Young smash “Every time You Go” The CD ends with Track 10: “Child of Mine” he perfect finale statement for a catalogue like this.

It’s hard to find any noticeable weaknesses with this CD. All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. The 10 song line-up is a bit short. Perhaps 2-3 more songs are needed to make this a fully loaded musical release.

From start to finish this debut release from Holly Gentry is an impressive collection of music. The music is highly marketable, uplifting, and very entertaining. The songwriting - an impressive snapshot of a marquee artist. All songs are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. Note for note, song for song this catalogue is extremely consistent and professional. At the end of the day Holly Gentry is a artists worthy of attention, spotlight and praise.

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