CD Review: Ingram Hill “Look Your Best”

Ingram Hill, a pop rock trio based in Memphis, TN, is back with its third album, Look Your Best. For this record, the boys have found a new label and reunited with producer Rick Beato (Billionaire, Michelle Malone, Flickerstick, Shinedown), who worked on the band’s acclaimed 2004 full-length debut, June’s Picture Show. It is great to hear the distinctive voice of lead vocalist and guitarist Justin Moore once again – his mild Southern draw and gentle rasp provide a texture not like anything else out there today. Moore is backed by Phil Bogard on guitar and Zach Kirk on bass (in case you’re wondering who does the drumming, the guys call on various friends to supply the beat).

The album’s first single is a pleasant mid-tempo number called, “As Long As I’m With You.” In Moore’s words, the song “is for that person, or the people, who really kind of hold it together for you. When seemingly everything around you is falling apart, it’s nice to know that it’s going to be okay because someone’s got your back. It doesn’t always have to be the same person, either. Sometimes it can be your best friend or significant other, and sometimes it can be a group of fans in the front row; smiling, dancing, and singing the words to your songs.”

There is a perfect mix of upbeat and slow songs rounding out the ten that made the cut for inclusion on Look Your Best, many of which have already met the approval of fans at recent shows. There isn’t a clunker in the bunch – if you think you’ve found one, just listen to it once more and you’ll likely change your mind. In the tradition of Ingram Hill, each song has an engaging verse that soon bursts into a huge chorus with genuine lyrics sung with sincerity. This is contemporary pop rock at its best. Highlights include the punchy, feel good opener, “Broken Lover,” the radio-friendly single mentioned above, uplifting ballad “Hey Girl,” and “Ready For The Sun.” But my favorite on the record is the infectious “Burn Out Your Flame.”

It is obvious the guys poured everything they had into this third swing at bat and, as a result, Look You Best finds Ingram Hill sounding their best. The album arrives on September 28 (Rock Ridge Music). Be on the lookout for two bonus tracks that will only be available on iTUNES: “L.A. Crazy” and “Good Man Gone Bad.”

Ingram Hill is for fans of Nine Days, Better Than Ezra, and Train.

iPod-worthy: ALL TRACKS!

Ingram Hill on MySpace. Official site.

Look Your Best