My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Album Review: Miss Leslie – ‘Between The Whiskey And The Wine’

Between The Whiskey And The WineMiss Leslie is the real deal. There is no doubt whatsoever if she’s hardcore honky tonk or not. Hard fiddles, loads of steel, and lyrics that involve either alcohol or heartbreak. Usually both.

The set kicks off with the “My Give A Damn’s Busted”-esque tune “I’m Done With Leaving”, which is the perfect kiss-off tune. Miss Leslie’s songwriting is sharp, and the conviction in her voice even sharper. The second track, which is the title track, is a song that describes the entire country genre, particularly the older, more traditional part of it: no happiness, no light at the end of the tunnel, no hope, all heartbreak, and all alcohol. Miss Leslie sounds genuinely “I’m never gonna heal”-heartbroken. She’s still depressed and still drinkin’ like hell in the next cut, “I Can Still Feel”, which could be the direct continuation of the title track. The next track, “Hold Back The Tears” could be another chapter to the two previous cuts, only this time we’re taken several years into the future, where the narrator has been sitting on that same bar stool for several years, and she’s still drowning her sorrows. Miss Leslie delivers this one perfectly, with just enough strength, and just enough of that ‘I gave up many years ago’ feeling in her voice.

What’s this? On “I Can Get Over You”, Miss Leslie convinces herself that she can get over the man who’s leaving her, and even though she thinks it may take years, she still sounds certain that she will eventually get over him. She apparently changed her mind on the next track, because she’s pulled out the bottle again, and sounds completely void of hope on “To Get Through This Day”.

One stand-out track here is “In The Matter Of Me And You”, a sad tale of a divorce, and a love that has died. Miss Leslie’s voice is dripping with heartbreak, and she truly sounds like she is just on the verge of tears. “You Left Me A Long Time Ago” is another prime cut about one person leaving the relationship in spirit, but who stays on in person, driving the narrator to cheat. “Pretty Girl” is a song that tells us that yes, even pretty girls have problems. This is a sad tale of how everything but their looks are brushed aside by men.

She picks up the tempo with the foot-stomper “Honky Tonk Hangover”, which is pure ear-candy. The album closer is a tale of hope, and that despite what we’ve been told for the twelve previous songs, “Love Will Find You”.  A fine, fine song that effectively closes a brilliant album.

Vocally, Miss Leslie is in the shape of her life. She’s evolved so much since her first album, and the process can only be compared with Faith Hill, who started out with a good voice, but didn’t really turn into the premium vocalist she is today until her third album, which incidentally, this is for Miss Leslie. Her voice sounds confident and strong, and the comparisons that have been made between her and Patsy Cline are justified.

The traditional honky tonk sound of this album bleeds together at times, but after more listens the songs stand out simply due to their own brilliance. Miss Leslie penned them all herself (with no co-writers even), which is a remarkable feat.

You can’t really go wrong with this one, folks. Especially since you can get it for free at her website.

A

Listen to some tracks on her MySpace.

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6 responses to “Album Review: Miss Leslie – ‘Between The Whiskey And The Wine’

  1. Razor X January 19, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    It’s a good album and I’m grateful that there’s somebody out there trying to keep this type of music alive. That being said, I think her vocals are the album’s biggest weakness. I haven’t heard her first album, so I can’t say if she’s improved as a vocalist or not, but there’s definitely room for improvement in that area. I hate to say that because I really want to get behind anybody who is doing real country music. But she’s just not a great singer.

  2. Chris D. January 19, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Ditto Razor, her voice isn’t amazing, but the songs are solid and it’s a real country album. She knows what kind of music she wants to make and she does it, so you have to give her credit.

  3. Rainbow January 20, 2009 at 9:33 am

    On the contrary, boys, I think her voice is one of the best things about the album. It’s strong, confident, and dripping with emotion.

  4. J.R. Journey January 20, 2009 at 10:00 am

    What Rainbow said …

    Plus, I think her voice fits her music like a glove. Shes’s not a powerhouse like Martina or Reba, and she doesn’t have perfect pitch like Trisha, but she can definitely hold her own with the ladies of today’s country music. And she can certainly interpret a lyric better than most …

  5. Rainbow January 21, 2009 at 11:43 am

    OK, I’m dropping the minus. I’ve been listening some more to it, and I think it’s worthy of a straight A.

  6. Ricky Davis February 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    This just in from the Houston Chronicle. For those of you that are used to listening to “pitch corrected vocals” go listen to your singer comparisons LIVE and you will find out they are about the worst singers on the planet. Go listen to Leslie Live and on this latest project and her vocals are not pitch corrected in either; and she sings dead on. Great singer; not a great singer?? Everyone has a opinion; my opinion comes from being in the recording industry for many many years; and Leslie IS a Great singer; she IS a Honky Tonk DIVA.
    Ricky Davis
    —————————–
    HONKY-TONK DIVA
    Miss Leslie
    Country music isn’t what it used to be unless you’re listening to Miss Leslie. The big-voiced mom belts in the tradition of greats like Connie Smith and Patsy Cline. She imbues both classic tunes and pitch-perfect originals with bravado and emotion. Her heartbreaking ballads can reduce a grown man to tears. Pick up recent disc Between the Whiskey and the Wine, and you’ll understand. http://www.missleslie.com
    ————————————-
    Here’s the page>
    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ultimate/08/peopleplaces/6114748.html

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