My Kind of Country

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

Tag Archives: Ashley Gearing

Single Review: Brandy Clark – ‘Love Can go To Hell’

love can go to hellHaving loved Brandy Clark’s Twelve Stories, I was disappointed by some of the musical and arrangement choices producer Jay Joyce made for her current album, although her strong songwriting continues to shine. While the arrangement on new single ‘Love Can Go To Hell’ is more cluttered than it needs to be, fortunately it does not detract from the song, which Brandy wrote with Scott Stepakoff (a rock singer turned Nashille songwriter). It doesn’t sound bad – just a touch too busy.

A bitter post-breakup musing on the nature of love and pain sees Brandy reflecting on a recent breakup. She claims, not entirely convincingly, not to blame her ex:

Heaven knows
I only wish you well

I don’t blame you at all
No, I don’t hate you at all
It’s all love’s fault

But she is unable to move on:

I can get drunk on a Saturday night
And try to fall for someone new
But I’d just wake up hungover
Cursin’ the day I fell for you

The mid paced tune is redolent to me of 90s contemporary country, the kind of song Trisha Yearwood or Matraca Berg might have recorded (with a more subtle backing). Brandy is a fine singer as well as an excellent songwriter, with a voice capable of expressing strong emotions, and she performs this song well.

Curb artist Ashley Gearing also released the song as a single this year, but it failed to chart for her. Hopefully it will do better for its writer.

Grade: B+

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Single Review: Ashley Gearing – ‘What You Think About Us’

It’s a little-known fact, but Ashley Gearing has already made history on the Country Singles chart. In 2003, a 12 year-old Gearing signed a deal with Lyric Street Records and released her first single, ‘Can You Hear Me When I Talk To You?’ to country radio. It made a little ripple and peaked at #36, but that was enough to break a 46-year record formerly held by Brenda Lee. A follow-up single failed to chart, and she was soon without a record label. But then an indepenently released album helped secure a contract with Curb Records in 2007. In true Curb Records fashion, after the first single failed to gain traction in 2008, the label waited 2 years to release a follow-up. And that’s a real shame because they’ve really got something in Ashley Gearing, now a gorgeous 19 year-old with a set of pipes to rival the best of the superstar belters.

Ashley Gearing’s big voice is reminiscent of another blonde signed to Curb in the 90s. While Gearing’s vocal prescence can rival that of LeAnn Rimes, she’s not hitting the airwaves with a knockout punch like Rimes had in ‘Blue’. What she does come to the table with is an engaging performance of an infectious song. Co-written by the singer with Brian Davis and Ben Glover, ‘What You Think About Us’ is a pleasant slice of pop-country. Producer Byron Gallimore isn’t shy about adding layers of production, but when they come in at all directions in the chorus – from the wailing guitars to the cooing backing vocals – that big, emotive voice comes through and remains the centerpiece. And with all she’s given to overcome, that’s quite the accomplishment.

The song’s basic premise is of the lady asking her guy to dig a little deeper with his revelations about himself. So far, she knows he doesn’t like going work on Mondays; but he does like driving fast, playing the radio loud and watching the Red Sox on TiVo. The second verse reveals that she has at least learned enought to know he’s a decent, down-to-earth guy with real ambitions. So, she’s got a good thing here, and wants to know just how he feels about their budding relationship.

Overall, ‘What You Think About Us’ is a decent song, not great, but proves Ashley Gearing to be an excellent singer, who, with the right material could really go places.  With a sound like this, coupled with that voice, she’s bound to have a hit, thereby increasing her chances of getting A-material.  I’m truly hopeful and excited for what the future holds for Ashley, and certainly want to hear more music from her.

Grade: B

Buy the song at amazon.