Sugarland - The Incredible Machine
While The Incredible Machine is Sugarland's debut UK release, it is actually the country/folk pop duo's fourth studio album so one might expect any early flaws to have been ironed out. But this is about as dull, lifeless and hackneyed as they come. The lowlight, and it's a crowded field, comes with lead single 'Stuck Like Glue' which starts with what can only be described as wet beatboxing, before merging into the bland folk pop that permeates throughout, finally coming round to a spot of truly awful rapping near its climax. Singer Jennifer Nettles claims the track is "young, hip and ... sassy", but really it's just plain embarassing. Fortunately this kind of experimentation doesn't happen on the rest of the album, but instead we're left with a series of cliches that cover all bases from romantic ballads ('Shine The Light') to 'you-can-do-it' musings ('Stand Up'). There's nothing wrong with not being genre busting, but this is passionless - almost like it was created by the titular machine, only without the incredible. The duo have already sold by the bucketload in the US (and perhaps this album is all just a ironic stab at the US music industry) but this is a terrible introduction to a UK audience who have shown themselves yet to be won over by the whole MOR country pop genre.