Ballentine: A Review


Ballentine4U (Original Man Entertainment)

Ever wonder what happened to the late ‘90’s pop music movement fronted by girl bands with attitude? Well, Ballentine wants you to know the genre is alive and well with their debut release.

Garnering publicity is hard for any new band, especially without a big time label backing you up. So, in this day and age, how do you get people to sit up and take notice? By going on a reality show of course!

Sexy girl next door/lead singer, Heather Ballentine and bassist Frank Primorac took a chance on each other two years ago by mixing both business and pleasure. Fast-forward two years and the band was finally falling into place, the relationship, however, was bordering on breakup tune territory. So, the lovebirds did what any fame seeking, yet romantically challenged couple would do and signed up for ABC’s Ultimate Love Test.

Genius career move or an epic love story? I’ll leave that one for you to decide. After surviving (and winning) the ULT, one thing was certain, the real test of whether their talent could take them all the way, had yet to come.

From the appropriately titled “Starting To Move” it’s obvious that pop hooks are not a problem. In fact, Warren Huart, who worked with The Bangles, is a good choice here as producer. With a nostalgic image to match their equally nostalgic tunes, all the pieces for success seem to be falling into place.

But then one thinks of bands like Save Ferris or the late, great Letters To Cleo. Acts that aspired to ride the wave of Gwen Stefani’s svengali, with only moderate success. The problem was the world already had their Stefani. The burning question being, do we really need another?

There are highlights which prove Ballentine has some chops including “Tired Of You” and “Anything But Perfect”, and it’s obvious they’ve got a pop rock groove down pat. Still, it’s clear Ballentine would benefit from more variety and doing so would help them emerge from their carefully concocted cocoon of well-crafted songs that need a little more diversity and a little less reality TV.

Janet Branagan