Gloriana, "Three" (Emblem/Warner Bros.)
Despite plenty of vocal talent, Gloriana has struggled to establish an identity in the ultra-competitive country radio world. The trio's third album once again shows off sterling harmonies and crafty arrangements — but leaves little emotional substance for fans to connect with.
The problem may be the production of pop mastermind Matt Serletic, who has guided the band from the beginning. His busy arrangements, while clever, leave little room for the singers — brothers Mike and Tom Gossin and Rachel Reinert — to convey much warmth or personality. The result is an overly processed sound focused on lightweight material about relationships.
"Three" is the first album since the departure of founding member Cheyenne Kimball, and Reinert steps up and takes more lead vocals — one of the album's strengths. Impressive moments surface in spots: The opening of "Are You Ready" slips nicely from a timeless choral arrangement into attention-getting modern vocal and electronic affects. Also, the intro to "Trouble," with its banjo-mandolin rusticity, compellingly sets up the dark tone of Reinert's voice as she confronts a wayward lover.
Gloriana continue to show potential. Now they need to show more heart — an element too often missing from "Three."