Review: Love and Theft – World Wide Open

September 5, 2009

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I mentioned the new group Love and Theft in the Country Corral on August 22.  I finally received my copy of the CD this week!  I sat down and gave it a listen.  Here is what I think of the songs on the disc. I’m more of a lyrics person, so the strength of lyrics has a lot of weight on the ratings.

Cheris Song  
World Wide Open Not a bad song, per se, but probably not the best song to put in the #1 track of a debut album.  Theme of the song is which road to travel down (which life choice to make).
Runaway I absolutely LOVE this song.  I haven’t been able to get it out of my head for weeks.  From a lyrics perspective, I’m a sucker for the “get out of town and make a new life for myself”.  The harmonies and instrumental strength really make the song stand out.  My scale only goes up to 5, but I wanted to give this song at least a 6.
Dancing in Circles The songs asks why people can’t get along, when we are all born brothers and sisters (in Christ).
It’s Up to You The narrator is warning a second person that their destructive actions are likely to cause broken friendships in near future.
You To Miss This is a story of love lost.  It doesn’t seem to have the instrumental strength of some of the other songs.
Can’t Go Back Another song with strong instrumental aspects and harmonies.
Don’t Wake Me A tale of newfound love – don’t wake me from the dream.
Freedom The first half of the song is considerably better than the second half (which is still pretty good).  Is freedom a good thing or a bad thing?
Slow Down In contrast to the songs which have the narrator racing off into new directions (Runaway and World Wide Open), this song begs to slow things down a bit.
Me Without You A solid song with the theme of “you complete me”
Drowning The songs has the theme of “I’m drowning without you”.  I really like some of the harmonies – they pushing the song’s rating up by a full Cheri.
Album grade: This album has a number of 2 Cheri and 3 Cheri songs.  However, I really like the top end songs (particularly Runaway) and the fact that this is a debut album make me a bit of an easier grader and allows me to award 4 Cheris.  I see a lot of upside potential for this group.  Perhaps their next album will be achieve a coveted 5 Cheri rating.

Love and Theft is made up of Brian Bandas, Eric Gunderson, and Stephen Barker Liles.

Love and Theft
World Wide Open

Country Corral

August 22, 2009

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Taylor Swift

When Taylor Swift first burst onto the country music scene as a 16 year old in 2006 she appeared, at first glance, to be nothing more than the latest in a string of young girls trying to make a name for themselves in country music, following the path of LeeAnn Rimes and Jessica Andrews. Her first song, Tim McGraw, peaked at #6 on the country charts. I can still remember an early radio interview when she explained that the song referred to a fascination with the Tim McGraw song, rather than Mr. McGraw himself (so that Tim wouldn’t see her as a stalker).

Taylor’s self-titled debut album has sold three million copies, and had five singles crack the country top 10, including #1 hits Our Song (my personal favorite from the album) and Picture to Burn.

Taylor’s second album, Fearless, hit shelves in November 2008 and became the first million selling album of 2009. Three singles have been released from that album – Love Story, White Horse, and You Belong to Me. Of those three singles, my favorite is probably White Horse – the only one of the three that hasn’t hit #1 on the country chart (it peaked at #2).

The cool thing about Taylor is that she is not just a singer. She is also a writer. She won a national poetry contest in fourth grade, and writes many of her own songs. She also seems to be a very fun loving person, and shares interesting details about her life and career through her Facebook page (as opposed to some stars who just use it to tell people when their new perfume is hitting store shelves).

Taylor has been in the media a lot, so it’s difficult to imagine that too many people are unaware of her – but if you’re one of the people who have been hiding under a rock, grab one of her albums and give it a listen. Guys – now that she broke up with the Jonas brother, she’s single again!


Sometimes a song gets lodged in your brain and you just can’t get it out. Lately, the song that keeps running through my head is Runaway by the new group Love and Theft. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but the group actually has a tie to Taylor Swift – as an opening act for her Fearless tour. In additional, group member Stephen Barker Liles is the subject of Swift’s song, Hey Stephen. Love and Theft’s debut album, World Wide Open, will be released on August 26.

Brooks & Dunn

Sometimes, it’s just time to hang it up. Country duo Brooks & Dunn are calling it quits. After nearly twenty incredibly successful years together, they have announced the end of their career – at least as a group. They will release the album #1s and Then Some on September 8th and will tour one last time in 2010. It’s been a good ride, guys – thanks for all the memories.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

Love and Theft
World Wide Open

Brooks & Dunn
#1s and Then Some