Perfect Stranger - Shake The World
By: Michael Sudhalter
It’s terribly ironic and a little bit disappointing.
A band that started 23 years ago in Carthage, Texas (population 6,000) – better known for the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, Tex Ritter Museum and Red Dirt artist Brandon Rhyder – became a one-hit wonder in Nashville, in 1995, with “The Right To Remain Silent”, which went to No. 4 in 1995.
They return 14 years later and introduce themselves as a Texas alternative country band, name intact, with just one member returning from the original group (bassist Shayne Morrison).
I’ve always wondered, don’t you have to be somebody in the first place, in order to call it a comeback.
Borrowing a page from LL Cool J’s lyrical book, the new and (supposedly-improved) Perfect Stranger addresses the matter in one of their songs, “The Comeback”, in which they say “don’t call it a comeback because we’ve been here all along.”
Sure. But if a tree fell in the forest….you get the idea.
Joining the new incarnation of Perfect Stranger is Marcus Eldridge, formerly a member of Walt Wilkins and The Mystiqueros, Chad Ware, Clint Williams and Doug Martin; Eldridge and Williams share lead vocals.
The band’s new sound can’t really be classified into the folk-bearings of the Texas scene, and they don’t really have what it takes to get any Nashville interest.
“Hey Virginia” and “Shake The World” sounds like these guys should be playing in a Keith Urban cover band.
It gets better when PS tries its hand at power ballads, “Unwelcome Guest” and “Beautiful Regret”, the latter of which would have fit perfectly in Richard Marx’s recording catalog.
“Highway Girl” is also a breath of fresh air on an otherwise mediocre album; it’s the story of the open road and a love story that begins at a truckstop casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana.