Kerri Arista’s “50 Different Ways” is a solid acoustic country/pop album all the way through. If you need a new music fix in the genre, the album is going to be a winner for you. If you’re looking to be wowed, you should look elsewhere. There are good tunes to be had, but this doesn’t break ground that hasn’t been broken many times before.
Arista’s mid-range voice is genial and inviting. She minimizes the drawl, which is a pro for some listeners and a con for others. There’s enough pedal steel to go around, as well as strings. The strings contribute a great deal to album highlight “Unfold,” whose mood lets darkness creep in around the edges. “One of These Days” features similarly excellent string contributions, and it’s another memorable track.
“50 Different Ways” isn’t heart-stopping, but it’s not snooze-inducing, either. It’s a solid collection of songs that will appeal to fans of the genre. —Stephen Carradini