My Kind of Country

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

Tag Archives: Michelle Branch

Single Review: Jessica Harp – ‘A Woman Needs’

Written by Jordan Stacey.  – J.R.

Jessica Harp was once one half of The Wreckers along with Michelle Branch. After one successful record they decided they’d go back to pursuing their solo careers. Jessica looked to be off to a good start last year with her first song, ‘Boy Like Me’, climbing nicely when it suddenly died out at #30 on the charts. She comes back this time with the title track to her delayed debut album A Woman Needs. Much like her first single this one is an uptempo song with a catchy driving beat. What probably killed ‘Boy Like Me’ was that while catchy it was a little hard to relate to it. The first verse was inventive if hard to follow. This song sounds much less convulted while sacrificing some of the inventiveness.

Girl power anthems were all the rage back in the 90’s with Shania Twain and Jo Dee Messina leading the way. They’ve more or less gone away at this point with the last one in recent memory being Bomshel’s ‘Fight Like A Girl’ which also peaked at #30. However this one feels like a hit, it has the same clear voiced performance that drove most of Twain and Messina’s biggest hits, it’s catchy as hell, and just judging by my little sister and her friends singing along to this one I can see the target audience eating this up.

Jessica sounds fun and lively on it, the music doesn’t blend together for the most part, and it’s relatable, all the things hit songs are made of. Is it a great song that’ll be remembered in ten years? Probably not. It’s a good sounding single that should get Jessica the hit she’s been looking for.

Grade: B

A swarm of new videos!

CMTHead over to CMT’s website today, and there are 10 music videos that are premiering. Those would be “Southern Voice” by Tim McGraw, “I’m Alive” by Kenny Chesney & Dave Matthews, “White Liar” by Miranda Lambert, “Keep You” by Sugarland, “Consider Me Gone” by Reba McEntire, “That’s How Country Boys Roll” by Billy Currington, “Hit The Ground Runnin'” by Keith Urban, “Sooner Or Later” by Michelle Branch and “Cowboy Casanova” by Carrie Underwood (Click the links to get to the videos, as of now, the Kenny Chesney video doesn’t seem to be working…). The Chesney, Urban, McGraw and Currington videos are all either half or mostly performance videos, so this time around the girls have better videos. Here are my 3 favorites:

“White Liar” by Miranda Lambert
I saw it was a wedding scene, and I knew it would be awesome: it doesn’t disappoint. Look at the preacher… You might see another country star!

“Keep You” by Sugarland
A simple video set in a theater, for some reason Jennifer Nettles cuts her hair in the most depressing way possible. It kinda makes sense, but looks gorgeous and has an amazing song, so it’s still good.

“Cowboy Casanova” by Carrie Underwood
Definitely a pop video with dancing and outfits, but the retro vibe is awesome, and at the end that guy has to be freaked out. Random synchronized dancing terrifies me.

What do you think of the new videos? Anybody else think that Michelle Branch really looks like a Hippie? Will Keith Urban make more than one non-live video per album?

Single Review: Jessica Harp – ‘Boy Like Me’

Jessica Harp

In case you don’t know, Jessica Harp was the not-Michelle-Branch-half of The Wreckers, a country duo on hiatus currently (Although they seem to still get nominated for stuff for some odd reason…). If you still don’t remember, they had the hits “Leave The Pieces” and “My, Oh My”, two great songs from their partially disappointing debut album.

This song finds Harp trying to start her solo career in country music, and it’s a pretty good song! First of all, the song rocks just enough for mainstream radio, but has enough twang to still be country. It has a good balance. It doesn’t hurt that Keith Urban is playing the guitar throughout, and it really reminds me of his hit “I Told You So”. (Rumor has it that Urban was going to record “Boy Like Me” as “Girl Like Me” but decided not to, so he contributed to Harp’s version instead.) It has a great mix of electric guitar and more traditional country sounds, not to mention Harp herself, who proves herself as a vocalist.

I never knew she could sing on her own! She was always the harmony half of The Wreckers, so it’s nice to hear her great voice, and she sounds engaging here. She has just enough grit to make this song believable, and she’s very entertaining. She doesn’t belt, but sings like she really wants that boy who’s just like her. She can also make her voice big enough to handle the chorus. Luckily, she never has to stretch, but sounds very comfortable in this song.

The song is very frivolous, but not in the annoying and mindlessly catchy way that the recent “Chicken Fried” is. Harp sings about how she wants a boy like her who wants to be more… rebellious… than I will ever be in my life. She wants that guy who will “lead her down the wrong road”, and she makes it sound fun! Most of the lyrics are fairly nondescript, but there are some fun parts like where she sings, “You’re the kind of boy who likes the kind of girls who like to fool around with the boys on the first date.” There are parts with some fun tongue-twisters that just sound like pure fun, but none of it is groundbreaking in any way.

It’s interesting to contrast this song with a single I reviewed last month, Gloriana’s “Wild At Heart”. While that fun song is way too saccharine (I’ve stopped liking it since I wrote my review), this song is just rough enough to make it appealing to most of mainstream country radio. Still, a really fun song. I hope her solo album keeps up this kind of quality.

Grade: A-

Written by Jerry Flowers

Listen to “Boy Like Me” on Jessica’s Myspace here.
Buy here from iTunes.