Single Review: Julie Roberts – ‘Nascar Party’
June 2, 2011
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When Julie Roberts debuted on the scene in 2004, she won raves for her killer voice and astute song selection. Unfortunately radio didn’t bite past her first single, “Break Down Here,” and after two very underappreciated albums, she quickly faded into oblivion.
So imagine my happiness when I heard she finally has new music and picture my shock when I heard her new single, “NASCAR Party.” The song is poorly constructed and a case of style over substance. The story isn’t interesting enough to hold the attention of the listener and lacks the emotional depth needed to draw people in. The writers put little effort into making this even slightly memorable and it shows.
Not even Roberts can elevate lines such as “My man/he qualified/ he’s right there in the front of line” and make them sound exciting. When she starts singing about “The sweet smell of gasoline” in the second verse, it’s so out of character for someone who made a name for herself on gems like “Wake Up Older,” that you almost wonder who Roberts is artistically. She’s caved into the pressure for success with “Girl Next Door,” but even that doesn’t reek as bad as “NASCAR Party.”
But, surprisingly, it isn’t all that bad. Roberts is a gifted vocalist, and she tries to use that to her advantage here. While her voice tends to even out too much when singing with backing vocalists, she puts a great deal of energy into her delivery and doesn’t hide the twang in her voice. She seems to be mustering up a little effort to rise above the inane lyrical content. And with a song this underwhelming, that’s hard to do.
As a big fan of her music, I can only hope her new album Alive contains stronger material than “NASCAR Party,” and brings back the Julie Roberts I know and love.
Watch the official music video here.