My Kind of Country

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

Daily Archives: May 11, 2012

Classic Rewind: Alabama – ‘Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler)’

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Single Review: Kristen Kelly – ‘Ex-Old Man’

New Arista artist Kristen Kelly’s debut single for the label is making waves for the Texan, who is also soon to embark on a support slot on the new Brad Paisley tour, which should bring her to the attention of a mass audience.

Kristen’s piercing, throaty voice is quite distinctive and has plenty of attack as she bewails the ex who cheated on her with the “sly” best friend she trusted. Now this dual betrayal has been uncovered, she declares defiantly,

I’ve got an ex-old man and an ex best girlfriend
Good riddance to ‘em both, I really don’t need them

Kristen’s confident vocal portrays a resilient woman temporarily hit by heartbreak and walking wounded; you get the impression she’s going to be okay eventually, even if right now she’s

Got a damn good reason for this drink in my hand

Eventually the guy tires of his new love and is back hitting on his ex, who is satisfied the cheaters are getting what they deserve – and unimpressed when he tries to get back with her. She dismisses him with a scornful,

How sleazy can you be?!

The hooky song itself, written by Kristen herself with veteran songwriter Paul Overstreet, is apparently inspired by the end of Kristen’s own marriage, and it is very well constructed (as one would expect from something Overstreet has had a hand in).

Overstreet and Tony Brown produce, and the arrangement is interesting, and sounds a bit different from everything else out there. The catchy but unusual rhythms are backed up by slightly too-busy and occasionally dated sounding (but not unpleasant) instrumentation. Kristen isn’t a traditionalist, but her brand of contemporary music is more palatable than a lot of what’s out there. She is still someone who puts the song at the heart of the music, and I really like her strong vocal. I’m definitely interested in hearing the full length album.

Grade: B+

Listen here.