I should be blunt: I can’t say that I enjoyed a single minute of this album. What turned me off from the get-go is that I felt as if I was being sold a celebrity-in-the-making rather than the work of an honest musician. This is perhaps a definitive example of music packaged as pure commodity. Judging by the cover and CD booklet photos, we’re meant to take Alecia Elliott as country’s answer to Brittany Spears. But wait: doesn’t Leanne Rimes already hold that position? Precisely: the need for this album seems to have arisen mainly from the fact that unlike Leanne, Alecia looks to be of legal age—or at least she’s close enough. If her come-hither stares or crimson platform shoes happen to get you all heated up, you don’t have to feel like you’re involved in something illegal or indecent.
I’m still amazed that, after all this time, large corporations in the business of making money continue to believe that consumers are so clueless that we’ll fall all over ourselves to snap up the blandest tasting pablum possible just because they call it scrumptious, chocolatey and fat free. (Granted, we do this enough of the time to prove them right.) This is a disc of competent but forgettable songs that reiterate every country cliché in a wholly unoriginal way. We’ve heard everything hear before, including Alecia’s voice, which is nice, but no better than thousands of other bar chanteuses across the country.
And what passes for lyrics on this album? “There’s a little girl livin’ on the street/I don’t understand/Turnin’ tricks to get some food to eat/I don’t understand/There’s a mama prayin’ to God to bring her baby back/I don’t understand/I don’t understand.” Umm, wouldn’t the point be to help us understand? Oh, I guess the punch-line does something in this respect: “These days the trouble starts right where the family ends.” And this brilliance required the effort of three credited songwriters? My in-laws in Indiana will listen to some pretty un-adventurous country music, but even they can tell when some slick city folks are trying to sucker them out of their hard-earned cash.
If you haven’t already, liquidate whatever assets you can and buy lots of MP3 and Liquid Audio stock. If you need convincin’ that the big boys are goin’ down, I’m Diggin’ It is it.
// Notes from the Road
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