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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Review: Oneside - First, To Last

Oneside - First, To Last
2008, BOS Music

Oneside dares to be different. The Boston-based quartet plays from a love of Traditional American music, and this plays out throughout their full-length debut, First, To Last. While reveling in traditional country/folk styles, Oneside isn’t above updating their sound in the veins of jazz, rock, blues, funk, etc. The results are melodic, artful rock songs (with banjo!) that will soothe and challenge listeners as they wend their way through your consciousness to that deeper level that craves good, honest music.

The Letter opens First, To Last on a jaunty banjo-laden note. The Letter will have your toes tapping - you won't be able to resist its charm. Oh Sun continues in the energetic country/newgrass vein. Lisa slows things down a bit with a more traditional country sound. Vocalist Ned DeBary has a pleasant sound that is very easy on the ears, and eases the songs to the listener like a spoonful of sugar. Josephine has a CSNY feel to its haunting melody. Oneside finds themselves back in a country dance party groove on Got To Go; a highly commercial country/pop with traditional leanings and may well be the best song on First, To Last. Be sure also to check out Our Song, a peppy country tune that has Blue Rodeo leanings to it. Other highlights include Four Corners, Out Of My Tree, Into The Night, Last Radio and All Over Now.

Oneside has its roots firmly in country/newgrass but retains a certain pop/rock sensibility. Gorgeous melodies and strong instrumental arrangements make for a highly pleasant listen. First, To Last is a keeper that will satisfy fans of all styles of music. Country, folk and Americana fans will not be able to put this disc down.

Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Oneside at, where you can purchase a copy of First, To Last as well as two other EPs from Oneside.

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