Showing posts with label kellie pickler. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kellie pickler. Show all posts

Sunday, November 24, 2013

video review: 'the woman I am' by kellie pickler

Almost forgot this entirely. Ah well, here it is.

Next up is that blasted Rhapsody of Fire review. Prepare for the maelstrom, folks, this might get ugly.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

album review: 'the woman I am' by kellie pickler

If you've been listening to country radio over the past few months, you'd probably think that there aren't many solo female country stars left in the genre - with the exception of Taylor Swift (who is barely a country act these days), Miranda Lambert (who only is notching mainstream hits thanks to duets, unfortunately), and maybe Carrie Underwood (same deal as Taylor), who do you have? Well, you've got Cassadee Pope, but she's following in the Taylor Swift template and is more pop than country (an unfortunate cry from her roots, but given the patronage of Blake Shelton, not entirely surprising). But even with that, the songwriting is seldom up to par, and you don't tend to see a fair number of female country singer-songwriters gaining chart or critical acclaim.

But that doesn't mean they aren't there. Acts like Kacey Musgraves, who won Best New Artist of the Year at the CMAs (deservedly so) and Brandy Clark are still writing and singing great country songs that reflect a distinctly female presence in the genre. And really, it's a damn shame they aren't getting airplay in the same way, particularly when they write bitingly intelligent material and have a lot of flavour and texture behind their delivery. And thus, I was looking forward to the new album from Kellie Pickler, who some country music fans have wrongly branded just another American Idol 'faux-country' girl (even despite her embattled childhood and distinctive country roots). Then again, it's not hard to see why some came to that conclusion, given her first albums of output were not strong in the slightest.

But then she came back in a big way with 100 Proof last year - which earned a fair amount of critical acclaim for being an artistic breakthrough for Pickler and addressing some of the darkness in her past. And, completely unsurprisingly, the hits of that album didn't chart for anything - which was a real disappointment, because it was a very strong album and enough to pique my interest for her newest record, The Woman I Am. Between these two, Pickler had left her former label and signed with Black River Entertainment, an independent country label (yes, Pitchfork, indie country exists, why aren't you reviewing it?), which for me was an even better sign - maybe Pickler would have more control over her artistic direction, and we could get something special. So how did the record turn out?