Ever since their 2009 self-titled album garnered them a gold record and an AMA Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Gloriana has been a country band with a lot of promise. Their long-awaited sophomore effort A Thousand Miles Left Behind is certain to take this promising band to the next level.
Sometimes the road between first and second albums can be a rocky one. For Gloriana, that rocky road came in the form of Cheyenne Kimball’s abrupt and unceremonious departure from the band in 2011 (the other band mates found out about her intention to leave on Twitter, of all places). Whether this had much to do with the four-year lapse between albums, at the very least it put a hiccup in their band’s momentum. However, the remaining members determined to regroup without their fourth, and I have to say that this now-trio adds up to even more than the foursome did. It appears that the public agrees; the first single from the new record, “(Kissed You) Good Night,” currently sits comfortably at Number 3 on the Billboard Country charts, making it the band’s highest-charting single to date. And while the girl-and-two-guy setup will inevitably draw comparisons to Lady Antebellum, Gloriana has a distinct enough sound that they should be able to avoid Lady A’s shadow and form their own niche.
My favorite thing about this band is that they sound like a country band—well, sort of. The opening sounds on the opening track “Gold Rush” are a pleasant blend of banjo and fiddle, and I thought, Yeah, THIS is country…but then…is that a DRUM LOOP underneath? So, yes, Gloriana is following the modern trends of blending pop/rock with country, and while that doesn’t set well with an old-school guy like me, I recognize that this is where the genre seems to be going, and Gloriana brings a deep enough country vibe to it that it definitely sounds like it belongs in the country genre. At any rate, they have a sound that is destined to move them forward. And I have to admit that “(Kissed You) Good Night” is one of the catchiest country tunes so far this year.
As it is, A Thousand Miles Left Behind is aptly titled; it is obvious from the energy, tight vocals and high production value on this record that Gloriana has left their earlier pitfalls in the rear-view mirror, and they aren’t looking back.
ALBUM RATING: 4.5 Stars (out of five)