REVIEW: Kellie Pickler’s “The Woman I Am”

It’s hard to believe that Kellie Pickler was once just another country singing contestant on American Idol. Since her days of trying to impress Simon Cowell and being confused by calamari, Kellie has charmed the music industry with tons of accolades, won Dancing with the Stars, crisscrossed the country on huge tours and released three successful albums.

On November 11, Pickler will release her fourth studio album, The Woman I Am. The release marks her first album with new label, Black River Entertainment. The album clings close to her musical roots of traditional country with hints of today’s hottest trends. Produced by Frank Liddell and Luke Wooten, it’s sure to appease long-time Pickler fans while also winning over a ton of new ones.

Country fans have already heard two of the album’s 13 tracks, the punchy album opener “Little Bit Gypsy” and the heartfelt closing ballad “Someone Somewhere Tonight.” In between, the album takes listeners on an impressive journey through cheating, falling in love, forgiveness and vulnerability.

Track #2, the sassy “Ring for Sale” (co-written by Chris Stapleton and Jim Beavers) is a tongue-in-cheek ode to a cheating lover. This isn’t your typical woman scorned song, but tells the tale of a cheating fiancée and his resourceful ex, who plans to make a pretty penny from selling the ring. “Act right now before he finds out,” Pickler sings, “And I’ll throw in the dress for free.”

The musical journey continues with the swinging vibe of “Buzzin’” before venturing into the ballad territory with the album’s title track, “The Woman I Am.” The track, co-penned by Pickler and her husband, Kyle Jacobs, is a definite standout on the album, an ironic mix of confidence and vulnerability that laments the duality of a woman. “Sometimes I cry at night, fall to pieces with Patsy Cline,” Pickler laments, “Man, I miss songs like that, that’s just the woman I am…”

As the album continues, we fall in love with “Closer to Nowhere” before paying homage to Pickler’s spitfire of a great grandma, “Selma Drye.” Another highlight comes in the form of “I Forgive You,” as Pickler admits there’s “no whiskey to numb the pain” before coming to the realization, “Only one thing left for me to do, I forgive you.”

As the album winds down, there’s the fun and flirty “Bobbie and Clyde,” the rousing “No Cure for Crazy” and “Tough All Over,” which once again hits on Pickler’s vulnerable side. Consider this track Part 2 to “The Woman I Am.”

If you’re already a Kellie Pickler fan, this album will remind you why you fell in love with the singer. If you’ve been on the fence about Pickler in the past, this album should win you over with its diversity, touching vulnerability and true country sound.

One thing is for certain, after listening to The Woman I Am, we feel like we know Kellie Pickler for the woman she is.

Download Kellie Pickler’s, The Woman I Am, here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-woman-i-am/id725702490