The Wreckers

Stand Still, Look Pretty

Nowadays, when a certified pop star like Bon Jovi has a No. 1 song on the country charts, nobody even flinches. It should come as no surprise that pop starlet Michelle Branch joins forces with up-and-comer Jessica Harp to form a country duet called the Wreckers. Clearly, the time is right for them radio-wise, and their squeaky-clean blend of crafted harmonies and neo-twang almost convinces the listener that this is “real country.” But a closer listen reveals some distinct cracks in the veneer.

The proper instrumentation is there — fiddles, dobros, even a banjo. And the songs are about, well, country things — love, home, cars, murder ... what? A murder ballad from these two pretty li’l things? Didn’t the Dixie Chicks already do that? Here’s the problem: The majority of the songs are simply midtempo pop ditties, with an occasional forced nod to a country tradition here and there. You can fool some of the people ... 2 stars.

The Wreckers play Philips Arena Sun., July 30.