I recently received a CD in the mail from One2One Network of the new Court Yard Hounds CD entitled Amelita! For those who don’t know. Court Yard Hounds is a band made of the 2 sisters of the Dixie Chicks. I don’t know about you, but I enjoyed the Dixie Chicks music growing up, with my favorite song being Traveling Solider. If you’ve never listened to it, please click here! I used to make my bestfriend sing it to me :) Martie Maguire and younger sister Emily Robison set off to start their own band in 2009 after being on hiatus with the Dixie Chicks since 2008. The two sisters wanted to get back into the studio, but the 3rd DC (Natalie Maines) didn’t want to just yet, so the 2 sisters decided to go in an make some music which lead to their first Self-Titled Studio Album. Fast forward to 2013, and they released their second studio album, Amelita. Containing 11 new tracks, Robison and Maguire took a different approach with Amelita than their debut album in 2010. This album contains a new perspective, which is due in part to time passed since Robison’s divorce. “I’ve been freed of all of those time-heals-everything kind of things,” says Robison. “Now, I’ve opened up to other ideas and ways of looking at life and the world. I think it’s not only a more hopeful album, but it’s more… well fun.” The Court Yard Hounds’ new album is a clear statement of who the girls are as artists, defining their sound as a band, with soaring songs that are personal, yet familiar and widely relatable.
I’ve never been a huge country music fan. I like the pop country genre more than the regular (Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood ect.) and this CD falls right into that. While being a Country album, you can still hear the poppish undertones that I enjoy very much. While listening to this CD, a few songs stood out to me. One being track 7. Phoebe. I will let you all know what the song is about below :)
I also really loved the coloring of the CD and booklet! I’m in the process of redoing my room, and these are the colors it will be! Aqua, and a peachy orange color! :)
The booklet is very stylish, but also modern and simple. I love that they included all of the lyrics of the songs in it!
Now I’m going to get onto what I thought of each song! I did listen to all songs thoroughly to get an honest opinion of each one.
The first song is:
1. Sunshine- This song has beautiful upbeat music! I really think putting this song as the first on the Album was very smart, because it hooked me into the rest of the CD. I immediately was interested, so it was a great first impression. It honestly reminds me of Taylor Swift a lot. This could be a hit or miss for someone. Personally, it’s a plus for me as I love her. The music, lyrics, singing all sounds like something she would do. I think it’s very sassy in a way, like with this lyrics:
“…You like the drama and attention, God forbid we bring you down”
There are many other examples in this song, but you’ll have to listen to it for yourself ;)
2. Amelita- This is the CD titled song. It reminds me of the 70’s. Very psychedelic sounding. It reminds me a lot of the Partridge Family, which may or may not be weird. It’s actually very catchy. It almost sounds folkish. I really like it! My favorite lyric is:
“I take your hand let’s go tonight/Just leave it all, I promise you’ll be fine”
It’s a very cute song if listened to in whole. I really enjoyed it.
3. The World Smiles- For me, I loved that the song feels light. It’s a way I can’t really explain. It’s very beautiful and is very…high. This is one of the things I know what I’m talking about in my head, but I can’t get it out in words. It sounds like it should be a song from a movie, either that or a commercial. It’s a great summery song. I really REALLY liked this song. My favorite line:
“A Little Baby/What’s she gonna be?/She may hold all the answers/Wait and see”
4. Aimless Upward- This is a very unique song. It’s almost told in the point of view as a plant. Did I really just say plant? Yes…I did. It’s almost a metaphor for life…is it metaphor? I don’t know. It’s such a cool song though. It’s very uplifting. My favorite line:
“It’s a gift to see the stormy skies/But too much rain and the waters rise/I’ve got steady hands when my roots are deep/We are seeds with promises to keep”
5. A Guy Like You- This is one of my favorite songs. This song has a slow twist to it. It’s so good, but to understand you’d have to hear it for yourself. Sounds like a song that’s part of a musical (such as Rock of Ages, how they have various musical numbers). It again, sounds 70ish to me…which may or may not be correct. I believe it’s sung by Martie and not Emily, which is good for me. I’m not too crazy about Emily’s voice, but I’ll explain that later. I actually don’t really have a favorite line or lyric for this song, I like it all the same!
6. Rock All Night- This is such an upbeat song that is very summer like! It would be awesome to see in concert. It’s a great love song without being slow and sappy! I love that about it. My favorite lyric:
“We’ll do anything just to feel alive/Life is like a Himalaya ride/Gonna rock all night”
7. Phoebe- This is probably my favorite song from the CD. Some of you may not know this, but I live in Massachusetts, and a couple years back, a young girl who moved here from Ireland killed her self due to bullying. She is basically what started the media whirlwind about children committing suicide, and children being bullied. Of course, I’m one of the few kids (well…adults now I guess) that will confront bullying if I see it happen. I’ve been like this since highschool. I’m not going to say I never bullied anyone, everyone has at some point in their life, but I took a moment to step back and realize that I was doing something wrong, even if I didn’t think of it that way. (I was known as a class clown, so I fooled around a lot with people, sometimes I guess it could have been considered bullying, but at the time I thought it was just joking.) I’ve stuck up for people my whole life, so this song has a strong meaning to me. I would like to write down the entire song for you all, because it’s very dear. It gave me both goosebumps and tears in my eyes when I was listening to it. It’s such a good song, with a very good message. The one thing that confused me was why it was so upbeat, music wise. I would have expected it to be slower. Here is the song:
“My daddy said
Keep a cool head
Don’t let those pretty boys own you
Don’t let them into your bed
How the river of talk does flow
They’ll make you weep
And you’ll reap what they sew
The golden rule
You’ll never learn in school
Boys can be mean
But girls can be downright cruel
You’re gonna make ’em pay, you’re gonna make ’em pay
You’ll have the last word today
Your daddy said
Walk away instead
Don’t let those pretty girls throw you
Don’t let them in your head
A small town spell
Your living hell
It’s a story we’ve all heard before
But you won’t live to tell
You’re gonna make ’em pay, you’re gonna make ’em pay
You’ve had the last word today
Back from school you walk alone
Empty street and no one’s home
They weaved their stories, spread their lies
Give up the fight but keep your pride
No dances on a starry night
Prom dresses in red and black
It ain’t right, it ain’t right”
This made me tear up just writing it. I truly wish no one had to go through the pain of bullying. While I’ve never been bullied myself, I know the pain is unbearable which is why I tried and helped when I could. It’s a shame that someone has to feel that they need to take their life to stop the abuse. I would just like to say R.I.P. to Phoebe and all of the kids who have taken their lives. I know 2 people personally that have done it, and it’s not fair.
8. Divided- This song isn’t really my favorite. It’s okay, but nothing spectacular. Maybe this is because I’ve never had to divorce so I don’t connect with it, but it’s just not for me.
9. Gets You Down- In the chorus of this song, Martie sings a ridiculously beautiful high note! I literally got mega goosebumps! It’s one of the prettiest sounds I’ve EVER heard in my life! I really like this song. It’s very beautiful. My favorite lyric:
“Are you gonna stick your head in the sand?/Are you gonna turn and run, just like that?/ Are you gonna make a fall or stand today?”
10. Watch Your Step- This is also one of my favorite songs! This is not only clever, but extremely badass! I love the fire in her voice with this song. My favorite line:
“‘Cause I’m a trip wire, make you walk on fire/Balance on the bridge/Who knew I’d sneak up on you/And push you off the ledge”
That’s all that needs to be said… :)
11. The Road You Take- This is a very truthful, beautiful song. The way it is played, and the way it is sung is so pretty. The lyrics make the song whole though. My favorite line:
“Lines and gravity it’s the price we pay to be here in the end/And we all live with our mistakes/Times of clarity, I see the bones we break aren’t always gonna mend/But no apology’s too late”
I love the last one personally…I always say that no apology is late, you can always apologize for something you have done. Some may not accept it, some may…it really depends on the situation. I had someone steal something from me a few years ago, they caught her red-handed, using her real name and everything, and she still won’t admit it to this day which makes me have hatred for her. But I’ve said over and over again, all she needs to do is apologize and admit her wrongdoings and I will move past it and not hold a grudge. As of today, she still won’t mention a word about it, and when a mutual friend saw her, she still denied it. I’m one to most of the time forgive, even if I don’t forget.
Overall, I think the majority of the songs on this album are very good! I think that I would have rather enjoyed Martie’s voice as lead vocal over Emily. I know that sounds mean, but Emily has a very soft spoken, almost flat voice that is perfect for harmonies ect. I don’t think it’s necessarily strong enough to be lead vocal in a band. That being said, some of the songs she did in fact pull off, like Sunshine and Amelita. I do wish Martie was highlighted more in the album though. The songs all have a similar tone to them, and I’m not sure if it’s the instruments used, or Emily’s voice. I really don’t think that this album is something spectacular or special. I’m not trying to be mean at all, I’m just being honest. This could be because I really am not a country fan. I was happy to be introduced to songs like Phoebe and Gets You Down, because I wouldn’t have heard them otherwise. If you are a country fan, and enjoyed the Dixie Chicks, I highly suggest picking this album up. You may have a different appreciation than I do for this type of music. I did really enjoy being introduced to new music though!
If interested in purchasing this album, you can get it from Amazon HERE for $11.88, or iTunes. You can also find this CD in stores for around the same price. I recently saw this at Tractor Supply for $11.99
If interested in following Court Yard Hounds on social media:
Emily Robison’s Twitter
Martie Maguire’s Twitter
Big shoutout to both Court Yard Hounds and One2One Network for letting me listen and review the new CD! :)
*I participated in this campaign for One2One Network. I received a free copy of the CD to facilitate my review. By posting, I am eligible for incentives. All opinions stated are my own.