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CD Reviews - Amber Rhodes
Amber Rhodes: Goodbye Yesterday
April 2006
By: Marco Nieves
album cover of Amber Rhodes's Goodbye Yesterday

With so much music out there that isn't worth a picayune, a sense of relief comes along when you find a compilation of songs that embraces the everlasting problem of loving the lover as much as you love the villain. When it comes to letting go, the formulaic flow of life stops mattering and you're left with what comes naturally, be it smoking a harsh cigarette, having one or six drinks, sighing with disbelief at the twilight outside the window that you've been looking through for eight consecutive hours, or in Amber Rhodes's case, singing a few songs that reveal, release and relieve.

In the fully enjoyable Goodbye Yesterday, Amber Rhodes gracefully conjoins pop with the essential arrangements of country. What separates country music from all other genres is the unavoidable energy in its catchier songs and the flooring emotion behind its rip-me-from-stem-to-stern ballads, never disallowing you to groove to your own rhythm amidst themes of happiness or tribulation. Even as she sings the heartbreaking Your Heart or Mine you can still sway slowly as you try to capture every emotion without feeling stumped with sorrow or overwhelmed with devastation. Her celestial voice that is as smooth as velvet declares a power without need for theatrics or unnecessary decorations. The songs come across as little stories, exposing blisters that will eventually callous and heal and denounce the same concerns that anyone can come across in the circumstances of everyday life in relationships. The denuded affectation of Amber's music is mature and restorative, in songs like Burn and So Long Goodbye, you get a spunky hit that is aimed towards those that promised forever and lasted only enough to cause damage. With moments when you feel like you're lost in the backwash of sequestered hearts, emotional songs like Goodnight Lullaby and Return Again mitigate and offer solace.

Amber's tunes, once they enter your ears, won't let go easily. The vim is unforgettable, the passion is adhering and the heart in this record proves that even though it has been broken at times, its sojourn into the realm of devastation kindles the way into a much better place. Sometimes it takes a lot, sometimes it takes everything, but the only way to handle these situations is to take it as it comes and shed the skin that has every bitter story written in stains and injuries, and realize that it's both time and possible to say goodbye to yesterday.