Party Heard Around the World
The odds of success go down for a band as entrenched as the platinum-selling Lonestar after losing an instrument as unique as Richie McDonald’s voice. New lead singer Cody Collins’ vocals are competent but lack the distinctive quality necessary to distinguish the band from others on the country scene right now. If anything, Cody channels Keith Urban’s vocal phrasing too closely on songs like “Live Laugh and Love” and “Beat (I Can Feel Your Heart).” The rambling, plucky guitar melodies sprinkled throughout those songs further add to the Keith comparisons. Cody and company settle into a more genuine, energetic sound on “The Reason Why,” the rocking title track and the suggestive “Making Memories,” which boasts some particularly lustrous harmonies. After the previous lineup’s last few disappointing family-oriented singles (“Mr. Mom,” “Mountains”), this revived, edgier Lonestar brings more energy to their Party.