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We’re sure he’s heard it before, but Jon Pardi has the perfect name for a country singer. His name may not be spelled the same as “party,” but it’s the perfect marketing tool. In fact, it’s unfortunate that the album title “My Kinda Party” was already taken by Jason Aldean because Pardi’s debut album is certainly “My Kind of Pardi.”
Pardi’s debut disc, Write You a Song, hits stores today and features the Top 25 hit “Missin’ You Crazy” and his current, chart-climbing single, “Up All Night.” It’s always the misfortune of the record buyer who purchases an entire album based on singles, only to find out that the single was the exception not the rule. This isn’t the case with Pardi whose first singles display the mood for the rest of the album.
If you’re looking for an album chock full of ballads and sweeping romantic orchestration, this isn’t the album for you. In fact it boasts only one true ballad out of the eleven tracks (ten of which Pardi co-wrote). We suspect the album’s lone ballad, “That Man,” will be a future single with its earnest yearning and ode to being a better man for the girl he loves.
When it comes to songs for a good time, Write You a Song is the perfect soundtrack for that tailgate, BBQ or day out on the lake. Even the songs about loneliness and missing someone, like “Love You From Here” and “Missin’ You Like Crazy,” are accompanied with up-tempo instrumentation that makes them seem much happier than the lyrics would suggest.
Highlights of the album include “Up All Night,” the aforementioned “That Man” and “Chasin’ Them Better Days.” The latter is an ode to an optimistic future as Pardi sings, “I’ve been waiting on sunshine, rolling with the hard times that come my way, chasin’ them better days.”
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
After listening to Ashton Shepherd’s sophomore effort, “Where Country Grows”, a few times on repeat yesterday, I’m not quite understanding why I never bought her debut album that came out a few years ago. I was and am a huge fan of her single “Sounds So Good”, but never picked up the album itself. After typing up this review, I’m making a B-line over to iTunes and picking it up. Being an Alabama native myself, we’re always very proud of the folks who make it big from the Heart of Dixie. And Ashton is no exception.