Courtyard Hounds - Amelita

Courtyard Hounds - Amelita

Fans of the Dixie Chicks should prepare to be disappointed in the founding members for the first time ever as [i]Amelita[\i], the second offering from spin off band, [b]Court Yard Hounds[\b] fails to excite.

While former band mate Natalie Maines' career excels, sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robson seem to be on the decline as they lose the edge that once made them legends.

The girls emit a great deal of sass on tracks such as 'Sunshine' and 'Phoebe', the former being the lead single off the album.
'Sunshine' is jam packed with brilliantly sarcastic one liners that act as a weapon to bullies, such as, "You pity all those who lack your higher breeding, so I can see the reason you don't have anybody left" and "You always find a way to bring me down when I feel fine, we call you sunshine".

Unfortunately, they do not carry on with this genius construction on 'Phoebe', a song directed at a nasty girl who almost mirrors the actions of fictional mean girl Regina George.
The sincerity in the lyrics are evident as they are flooded with emotions that could only have come from the perspective a victim of bullying. The line "Boys can be mean, but girls are downright cruel", for example, is so near and dear to the girls that when I tweeted it to them in admiration, I scored a retweet.
However, while the lyrics are superb, the unconventional formula used for the track is misguided and hard to enjoy.

The album shows glimmers of the ethereal, otherworldliness of the songs that made their first album such a success. This can be seen on tracks like 'Aimless Upward' as the intoxicating opening guitar solo takes you away from your troubled existence and feel at peace, a feat that very few artists nowadays succeed in mastering.

The cruisy atmosphere continues with 'Guy Like You', a song that could easily be slow danced to by a cowboy and his girl in an old school saloon.

The enjoyable mood is then interrupted by the uninspired 'Rock All Night' that sees the girls go out of their comfort zone and become very very awkward.

From this point on, the album sounds like the remnants of a retired blues singer who went back into the studio in order to fund their next DIY project because lets face it, government funding for old people sucks!

While filler like this is forgivable when coming from delusional has-beens, it is extremely disappointing when coming from two of the most influential women in music.

Album two proves that the girls still have enough fire in their bellies to continue in the music industry, but lack the personality that they once exhibited as part of part of their previous band.

Standout tracks: Sunshine, Aimless Upward
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