Review: Perfect Stranger “Shake The World”

Sometimes 'new' just doesn't work in today's savvy consumer marketplace - think "New Coke' and the failure of clear alcoholic beverages like Miller's Clear Beer and Zima. But there's an exception to every rule, and the new Perfect Stranger is runaway success. Indeed, "Shake The Wold" proves that new can triumph over old.

Founded in Carthage, Texas in 1986, Perfect Stranger had a massive country hit in 1995 with "You Have The Right To Remain Silent" on Curb Records, and the band even received a nod for best new group at Academy of Country Music (ACM) awards.

"Shake The World" starts out strong with the male to newly curvy female shout-out "Hey Virginia." And the album really picks up steam with the terrific "Can't Run Away" which boasts harmonies worthy of Emerson Drive or Rascal Flatts. Likewise, the title track "Shake The World" proves the band is back to its winning formula of powerful lyrics, upbeat vocals and professional instrumentation.

"Turnaround Point" provides a poignant reminder that mistakes should be corrected before you pass the point of no return. But the finest moment on the album is "Unwelcome Guest" which is a melodic and bold anthem that shows the band is artistically relevant in today's country music market. It's probably no coincidence that the next tune is titled "The Comeback."

The careful skill of Perfect Stranger is most clearly evident on the ballad "Beautiful Regret," which is heartfelt and intense without being overdone. And the final cut, "Slow Motion" is truly a revelation. Perfect Stranger is channeling an interesting Randy Rogers Band meets Goo Goo Dolls country confection that works in a major way.

With a great catalog and sold-out concerts around the country, the original Perfect Stranger did have the right to remain silent. But it's good news for country music fans that the band retooled and decided to "Shake The World" one more time.

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