August 8, 2008
The good thing about reality singing competitions: a strong singer gets a shot at stardom that they might not get otherwise. The bad thing about reality singing competitions: if they win, they’re saddled with a treacly inspirational number as their first single.
Melissa Lawson has a real shot at stardom, especially since the audience for Nashville Star was much higher than in previous years. Even a low-rated network special is going to give wider exposure than most basic cable channels can provide. Her vocals aren’t Carrie-caliber, but they’re stronger than most of the women who are being pitched to radio today, including some of the ones actually getting played. (I’m looking at you, Taylor Swift!)
The song itself is generic inspirational fodder, and the production is very “Hey, we need this on iTunes tomorrow!” But Lawson herself sounds good, and she elevates the material to a level above its vanilla essence.
Since it’s already the top-selling country song on iTunes, she’s sure to command some serious attention from Warner Bros. Give her some good material and songwriters to work with, and a producer who knows what’s (s)he’s doing (I’m not looking at you, John Rich), and her stardom will come to pass.
Written by Tania Hancheroff, Tamara Hyler, and Shaye Smith
Listen: What If It All Goes Right