Catchy, sing-along tunes is the overwhelming characteristic of One More Girl’s material on their sophomore release The Hard Way. The sisters Brittney and Carly McKillip are one of Vancouver, Canada’s most vibrant voices in country-pop music reminding audiences of Shania Twain’s fire and Faith Hill’s sense of rhythmic timing. Though the sisters’ melodic sensibilities are reflective of such country-pop pioneers from the ’90s, The Hard Way speaks to a contemporary generation of music fans with a selection of thunderous romps and folk-pop power ballads that add kindle to country music’s flame.
The sisters’ repertoire varies from country-pop to contemporary westerns and passionate prairie-folk numbers. The diversity reflects their collaborations with a team of songsmiths that include Radney Foster, Nathan Chapman, Linda Perry, Billy Steinberg, and Jeff Trott. The album’s lyrics address the universal themes of love and loss, emotional isolation, and the search for one’s individual path to happiness all with overtones of optimism. It’s the type of album that nurses one’s wounds while keeping one’s gaze upward and spirit steadfast.
From the onset, the sisters come out strong with “Love Like Mine” anchored by a beat that has a punch to it liken to The Band Perry. The country rock grooves are trellised by groomed instrumentation which enhances the fiery spirit behind the lyrics as the sisters reflect, “I’ll be crying black mascara tears / I’m gonna lock my door, sleep with my phone… You think that new means better off…so go and get yourself a little taste of something else…let me tell you something my dear / I’m gonna be just fine but you’ll never gonna find another love like mine.”
There’s a ruminating slant on certain tracks like the country pop ballads “Speak to the Devil” and “Easy to Remember” as the lyrics in the latter one contemplate, “I’m still asking in the morning light, if you think of me / Do you laugh / Do you cry / Does my memory inspire / Does it weigh on your mind instead.” The power pop ballad “Wired” changes gears with sentimental lyrics that turn starry-eyed, “”Baby what’s your secret ’cause I’m forever changed / And I’ve never known this kind of happy like you’ve invented / My heart beats / Don’t stop this electric feeling / But there’s nothing that I can do / It’s like I’m wired to you.” The slow reflective numbers are buffered by the thumping rocker “Ray Bans” clasped in spiraling fiddles that fire up the album and bring out the McKillip’s passionate side.
The tracks speak to the McKillip’s generation, eager to find true love and embrace it with both arms. The Hard Way is laden with country pop tunage that’s akin to the works from artists which the sisters have toured with including Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Toby Keith, and Jason Aldean. Having honed their skills as live performers and exploring their talents as recording artists, the McKillip sisters are ready for the world stage using The Hard Way as their calling card.
Love Like Mine, Wired, Ray Bans, Easy to Remember, Speak to the Devil