The latest Canadian export to hit Nashville is Aaron Lines, who showcases decent songwriting skills and radio-friendly everyman country chops in his debut. Despite its reliance on the completely overu

The latest Canadian export to hit Nashville is Aaron Lines, who showcases decent songwriting skills and radio-friendly everyman country chops in his debut. Despite its reliance on the completely overused superlative "amazing," the crisp midtempo "Love Changes Everything" is likable enough in its depiction of what's important in life, and "I Will Be There" is the kind of big, bold love anthem that would work in just about any decade, powered effectively by busy percussion and guitars.

A husky vocalist with some passion, he uses a wah-wah guitar and personality to send home the soaring title cut. He's also good at reining in his bombastic impulses, as he does on the poppish "Turn It Up," "Old Days New," and "She Called Me Kansas." The slow-burn ballad "I Can't Live Without Your Love" boasts some neat turns of phrase, and "You Get the Picture" is fun, well-rendered boogie. "You Can't Hide Beautiful" is blatantly geared to the soccer-mom demo. Don't listen for any "country" instrumentation, but Chris Farren's production is often ambitious, blending strings, layered vocals, and tasteful piano work with power chords and pop-rock sensibilities. Promising.—RW

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print