Once seemingly on a fast track to become a star on the modern rock/emo pop scene, Eisley has seen its progress stalled by both business and personal setbacks. In early 2010, the group parted ways with Warner Bros. Records, clearing the way for Eisley to release "The Valley," its first full-length release in four years. Also during the yawning four-year gap that preceded this CD, the group's three DuPree sisters all endured major romantic setbacks. Sherri's marriage fell apart, Chauntelle had a broken engagement and Stacy went through a rough breakup. Some of that turmoil is chronicled on "The Valley," although the bigger message is one of perseverance and strength. Musically, the group's bright pop sound returns mainly intact, although there is more depth and maturity in the new material. Yes, there are some darker overtones to "Watch It Die," a string-laden mid-tempo tune, a disquieting feel to "Sad" (a rocker with some edgy guitar) and plenty of anger and ache on the turbulent ballad, "Ambulance." But much of "The Valley" is characterized by the effortless pop melodies and the swooping vocals and harmonies of the DuPree sisters -- in other words, the signatures of Eisley's first two albums. The DuPree sisters may have been bruised over these past few years, but they have ridden out the storm and have come back sounding wiser, more focused and as appealing as ever.
-- Alan Sculley