Jessica Harp, “Boy Like Me”

jessica-harp-boyWell, color me surprised. I wasn’t expecting much in the way of personality from That Other Girl From The Wreckers, but Jessica Harp’s debut single as a solo artist is a silly little sugar-pop of a record, the kind of thing we haven’t heard much of since Mindy McCready stopped selling and the Dixie Chicks left their dittying days behind.

Let me see if I can sum it up: Girl secretly wants to Go Wild, Girl finds Boy who is willing to oblige, Girl rejoices with super-hooky, banjo-kissed choruses of “Hallelujah!” and a shamelessly randy “what do you wanna do with me?”

It’s not often you hear reckless premarital sex actually championed in a country radio release, much less by a female singer, but Harp sells it with a charming playfulness that is at once saucy enough to suggest she’s in charge and innocent enough not to intimidate the fellas or alienate her from the good girls. You might roll your eyes within the first thirty seconds, but don’t let your guard down; she’s liable to get you grooving in your seat before you even realize it.

Grade: B+

Listen: Boy Like Me

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8 Comments

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8 Responses to Jessica Harp, “Boy Like Me”

  1. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    It’s good to see that the other half of The Wreckers has ample talent. I like her voice. It sounds young and fresh. While this song isn’t likely to make my Best of 2009 list, it’s good enough to grab my attention for future Jessica Harp efforts.

  2. AaronNo Gravatar

    I heard a snippet of this song last week on XM and I liked it more than the single Michelle Branch is going to release. It’s very catchy and her voice sounds great! I guess I never really got to hear it much when she was in the Wreckers. But, yea, I kind of like the song I guess!

  3. vpNo Gravatar

    From the short clip I’ not sure if it is a song I would like but I do think, it could be catchy. I definitely is mainstream country, but it also has lots of fiddle, bango and steel guitar, also twang to keep it country enough.

    The lyrics make me think of something Gretchen Wilson may sing, actually the sound too.

  4. FelipeNo Gravatar

    I love Jessica Harp. She’s a great writer, and her songs before The Wreckers are really amazing (I love Cowboy and Over Me). Though she usually write sad songs, I think “Boy Like Me” is the right choice for hit the radio, and introduce her independently. Good luck to her!

  5. She’s got a good voice and I liked some of the stuff The Wreckers did, so I can’t help but feel that she is capable of doing much better music than this fluff piece. It seems like she sold out and recorded a mindless, catchy tune in order to get on the radio. Perhaps that’s what needs to be done, given the current environment, but if this song is successful, it’s going to be hard for her to change direction and release more substantive music down the road. This certainly isn’t a song that’s going to lure me back to mainstream country radio.

  6. I’m surprised nobody noticed that this song features Keith Urban on lead guitar. I heard those notes and immediately thought of him. In fact, if you flop the boy/him lyrics to girl/her and you have a Keith Urban song. This shouldn’t be surprising as Harp’s producer is Jerry Flowers, who was 1/3 of The Ranch with Urban and a drummer while also being good friends with Urban. Flowers also wrote the song.

  7. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    “if this song is successful, it’s going to be hard for her to change direction and release more substantive music down the road.”

    Well, I do think she may face a challenge finding substantive songs that are as good at being substantive as this is at being insubstantive, if that makes sense. I didn’t delve too deeply into The Wreckers’ stuff when they were around, but her solo-penned ballads sounded kinda treacly and boring to me on first listen. I’m holding out hope for her based on this – she does have a memorable voice and recording presence.

    Matt,

    Good catch! I never would have guessed that, honestly, although now that I think about it, the cowbell in the verses is pretty reminiscent to the Golden Road version of “You Look Good in My Shirt.”

  8. i wanted to hate this song so bad..but i couldn’t!! it’s playful enough without being too provocative or too stupid. her voice is pretty sexy and the production is very smart and radio friendly without being senseless.
    the song hit the top 40, i think its peak position was around 30-32.
    i feel that jessica should keep the same kind of tempo and music production but write more mature lyrics next time and i think she’ll make her way through.

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