Polished but ultimately unremarkable new album from Nashville based singer-songwriter.
Singer-songwriter Ali Sperry in many ways typifies the kind of literate artist that is attracted to take up residence in Nashville. Her songs are well-written and this album is professionally put together. The trouble is that Nashville is full of many similar such performers and standing out from the crowd is something that only a relative few actually manage to do. ‘In Front of Us’ is a perfectly listenable record, but probably not something you are going to have on repeat for the next week or two. The production steers the album more in the AOR direction than the country music that Nashville is more closely associated with, part of what you might reasonably assume is an attempt to widen its appeal. However, ‘In Front of Us’ is a bit too slick and sanitised for this particular reviewer’s taste, with the added strings serving only to iron out any edge contained within the songs themselves.
There are moments when Sperry’s songs do manage to rise above their glossy settings, ‘Peace by Moonlight’, ‘Cool Under Pressure’ and the title track ‘In Front of Us’ being perhaps the best examples. Ultimately though, despite the album having some merit, it’s hard to see it breaking through in what is a very crowded field.