Sugarland - Bigger
Jeremy Williams-Chalmers, Arts Correspondent
Amazingly 8 years have passed since iconic Country duo Sugarland released their last studio album The Incredible Machine. Having decided to go their separate ways some 6 years ago, both Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush dabbled with solo careers. Although they did not manage to quite emulate the success they had as a duo, their solo records were met with critical acclaim and definitely bridged the gap while fans waited for them to ultimately reunite.
The announcement of their reunion was met with euphoria at the end of last year, and UK fans have already been treated to a show from the duo at Country2Country. Now, after an extensive wait, fans are rewarded with their latest album, the ambitiously titled Bigger.
Sadly the album isn't quite their biggest or best to date, but it is nonetheless a rather wonderful collection. The duo had a tough task following the finest recording of their career, The Incredible Machine, and they come close but Bigger ends up their third best release to date - behind the aforementioned 2010 album and 2008's Love On The Inside.
With Taylor Swift having contributed and collaborated on the album's single Babe, it is clear that Sugarland are determined to make a huge impression upon their return, and Bigger does hit the notes to ensure it will be a success. It is a relate-able sound to their fans of old, but also manages to add a contemporary feel that makes the relevant to the ever evolving country music scene.
However, as with their earlier works, the most impressive moments arrive when the flawless vocals of Nettles are allowed to shine the brightest. As a result Still The Same, Lean It On Back and Tuesday's Broken steal the show.
Bigger may not fulfil all the duo's returning ambitions, but this is a record that deserves to secure them a place at the forefront of the global country music scene once again.
Sugarland - Bigger, 8th June 2018, 15:21 PM