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Monday, September 15, 2008

CD Review: Allan Lopes - White Picket Fence

Allan Lopes - White Picket Fence
2008, Plaid Star Records

Occasionally an artist comes along that wins you over just on honesty alone. I'm talking about someone who comes across in their songs as so real and so personal that you can't imagine how they would be different in person. This happens a lot with singer-songwriters of a highly personal nature, but the true singer-songwriter has almost thoroughly disappeared from the country music scene. Now here comes Allan Lopes, winner of the Colgate Country Showdown in Colusa, California, who is released his debut EP, White Picket Fence, on Plaid Star Records. You've got to check this guy out.

Surprisingly enough, Lopes leads with the weakest song on White Picket Fence, Waste Time. This song has a great chorus, but the verse is awkward. It is a solid introduction to Lopes easy country voice and open faced delivery. White Picket Fence is a feel-good motivational song about picking up the pieces and starting over. Get your tissues ready (or hankies, if so inclined) for Pictures. This song is heartbreakingly beautiful; discussing the ultimate family heirloom and how one generation tries to better the one that came before.

Singing With You is a great ode to country greats such as Hank Williams, Garth Brooks and Waylon Jennings. The song concept here could have gone either way - endearing or terminally hokey. Lopes delivery is so heartfelt it would win you over even if the lyrics weren't ones that almost anyone can identify with. I could see this song becoming the de facto theme of a show like Nashville Star. High School Days is the country answer to Springsteen's Glory Days. It's the sort of song that will inspire someone to buy another round on a Saturday night.

Allan Lopes is an exciting young talent who may help carry the country music vanguard beyond the current trend of country pop-tarts. His deference to old time country and rock/Americana forms makes for an exciting listen. White Picket Fence is a must for country fans, and may even be a hit with folks who tell you they don't like country.

Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Allan Lopes and catch some streaming audio at You can purchase a copy of White Picket Fence through Plaid Star Records.

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