Steel Magnolia

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This edgy duo has gone from Can You Duet winner to Country Music Association award nominee in record time. From the quirky “Eggs Over Easy” to the soulful “Homespun Love” (from Keith Urban’s 1997 album with The Ranch), this debut traces a relationship’s tender moments, breaking points and everyday love, given credibility by the duo’s real-life romantic pairing. Steel Magnolia relies more on soulful rockers and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill-style ballads than traditional country fare, as evidenced by “Keep On Lovin’ You” and “Ooh La La,” which name-checks a Rolling Stones lyric (I can’t get no satisfaction). A true duo, Joshua Scott Jones’ rugged rock voice blends and contrasts at the right moments with Meghan Linsey’s fluid soul singing. Unfortunately, the material here doesn’t always live up to their voices; their poignant vocals barely save “Just by Being You (Halos and Wings),” an unfortunate concoction of lyrics befitting a Hallmark card, with overproduced strings. Still, their musical chemistry sounds sweet.

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