http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/e1b7170a8979bf588e6bea2e1254d8bbfb6bce44.jpg The Incredible Machine


The Incredible Machine

Mercury Nashville
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 2.5 0
October 18, 2010

Any remnants of country music left in Sugarland are wiped clean on The Incredible Machine, replaced by spit-shined arena pop that puts a premium on sky-high choruses and proves that Jennifer Nettles learned just as much from Jon Bon Jovi during their 2006 collaboration as he learned from her. "All We Are" opens the album with a megaton vocal sound that would do "Mutt" Lange proud, and from there the group abandons dirt roads for the kind of smooth, breezy highways favored by Alanis Morissette and, more recently, Avril Lavigne.

Rolling Stone Live: Watch exclusive sets from Pete Yorn and more.

The results are calculated and anonymous: "Tonight," with its slow-build chorus and keening guitars, sticks slavishly to the FM-torch-song blueprint, and in the cutesy "Stuck Like Glue," Nettles adopts an odd patois — think dancehall by way of Gwen Stefani. Sugarland are ruthless in their desire to leave no radio-ready trick untried, but in the end it's too much machine, not enough heart.

Keep up with rock's hottest photos in Random Notes.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories


    Lou Reed | 1972

    Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

    More Song Stories entries »