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Cornerstone: Somewhere in America
Cornerstone Somewhere in America album new music review

Cornerstone: Somewhere in America

AOR/Melodic Rock
3.0/5.0

Previously, they failed to impress. Cornerstone's 2008 release Head Over Heals nearly put me to sleep with their airy and quiet melodic rock. Capitalizing on some minor success and a tour in America, they return with their second full-length work, the aptly titled, Somewhere In America. Thankfully, having some understanding of their style, I didn't nap through the play of this album.

Cornerstone band photoGive Cornerstone some credit. Against their previous ethereal soft side, they try to up their game by trying to deliver some edgier rock on the opener Stay and the later High and Low. The latter is better. Also, more up tempo, but less heavy, is Like A Stranger. Likely the best track offers some slick musicianship in a tight arrangement; kudos to the guitar solo. Then there's the cute pop rock of Being Unaware, a slippery and sweet number. But mostly Somewhere In America is light rock, suitable for your favorite adult-oriented FM radio station. Breathing for You, Right or Wrong, and the closer Strut define this. (At right: Cornerstone looking tough?)

What's curious, the second time around, is the character of Patricia Hillinger vocals. She's strains at the rock stuff, and impresses on the lighter especially on Breathing for You and Right or Wrong. She has a style that could equally fit pop rock or pop country. This makes me wonder what would happen if Cornerstone visited Nashville and added either peddle steel guitar or fiddle to their sound. I suspect they would then turn into another polished Nashville pop-country clone. But, honestly, I think they should explore this avenue.

Nice, friendly, with a careful edge might summarize Cornerstone's Somewhere in America. This is pleasant music for a white wine adult crowd, with a few rock tunes to make them fill hip. Am I now more impressed with Cornerstone? Not likely, but I get where they're coming from. They can be a dangerous addiction, a guilty indulgence, if you're not careful. Beyond those 'blips' of edgier rock, by comparison to everything else, I still want something more adventurous and vigorous from Cornerstone, but I'm not sure what that is. Nevertheless, I'm sure the same reviewers, magazines, et al, will once again drool over Cornerstone and this work.






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In Short

Nice, friendly, with a careful edge might summarize Cornerstone's Somewhere in America. This is pleasant music for a white wine adult crowd, with a few rock tunes to make them fill hip.

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