The Incredible Machine

  • Type: Music
  • By: Sugarland
  • Age Category: Adults
  • Genre: Country & Folk
  • Recommended by: Tom S.
  • ISBN/UPC: 602527492773
  • Check Catalog

Why didn't anyone tell me about this duo?

When it comes to country music, I’m a certified fuddy-duddy.  I like the old stuff – Patsy Cline, George Jones, Bill Monroe - and I’m pretty reluctant to listen to anything new.  But a few days ago I just happened to pick up this CD, and I’m glad I did, otherwise I might never have discovered the amazing vocal artistry of Jennifer Nettles.
Oh, can this woman sing!   In the perky pop-flavored Stuck Like Glue she’s all twangy sass and attitude, then turns around and belts out a majestic Springsteen-esque anthem of personal empowerment called Stand Up.   The guitar work of Kristian Bush, Nettles’ songwriting partner and bandmate, is another key element of the Sugarland sound.  Bush seems comfortable channeling everyone from Buddy Holly to U2.  In fact, All We Are, the CD’s first track, has such a rattle-and-hum intro you almost wonder if The Edge might have sat in as a guest musician.
But for all the delicious textures and influences that are at play in The Incredible Machine, the CD ends with a stripped-down ballad - Shine the Light - that is one of the greatest love songs I’ve ever heard.  Nettles accompanies herself on piano and delivers an achingly beautiful testament to love and fidelity in a world that can often be cruel.  This song deserves comparison to Sarah McLachlan’s Angel, and I believe that in the future we’ll be hearing it many times by many different singers at graduations, weddings, and anniversary celebrations.
For a more traditional country sound, try one of Sugarland’s earlier albums like Twice the Speed of Life.  But even if you’re a musical stick-in-the-mud like me, don’t be afraid to give this a listen.