Whitney Duncan, “Skinny Dippin’”

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June 24, 2009

DuncanAs a former Nashville Star, Whitney Duncan has been seriously struggling to break through as a Warner Brothers recording artist for some time now. Out of the somewhat inferior material that she’s released so far, her third single, “Skinny Dippin’”, has the best shot of becoming a minor hit due to its sultry melodic structure and summertime timeliness. As an actual song, however, “Skinny Dippin’” suffers from some glaring flaws that could keep it from being the break through hit that Warner Brothers and Duncan are counting on.

As a song vying for mainstream airplay, the lyrics are what one would easily predict from such a title, which is actually fine in this case. Regrettably, while the song itself has some potential due to a smooth vibe, Duncan’s strained vocals, particularly in the verses, prevents it from being completely engaging. Furthermore, the doo wop like background vocals is irritatingly cheesy rather than complimentary, which quickly eliminates any possibility of intended charm for which the song is clearly reaching.

Grade: C

Listen: Whitney Duncan, “Skinny Dippin”


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  1. MikeNo Gravatar says:

    Are you kidding me? What a crappy review. I happen to LOVE this song and everything else she has put out!! Her vocals are amazing on this song and her voice is so different! Leeann, I guess my question to you, is do you like anything that’s actually any good?

  2. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Mike,
    I’m aware that you’re not actually looking for an answer to your antagonistic question, but I’ll give one anyway, since you asked. My answer is yes.

    In all seriousness though, I’ll say that the song sounds worse from the All Access link than it does on the Amazon clip, which is what I was listening to when I wrote the review. From the Amazon clip, I’d say that the song isn’t too bad, but still requires some changes in order for it to be good.

  3. LISA HEIDELBERGNo Gravatar says:

    Well…leeann, I guess you are a singer since you know so much about singing is supposed to sound like…hmm. I happen to be a singer myself. So to let you in on a little bit of “fan” info…I do know that this song that Whitney is singing does “not” sound strained at all. I have seen her perform this song up close front row several times. Grew up singing with her at Jam Session USA in Lexington, Tn with Lynn Pratt. She does not break her neck back to hit the high or low notes or does she struggle to get the words out effortlessly smooth. Do you sing better than her or any other wide range vocalists? I happen to know what it feels like to sing “High Notes” as a singer with a wide range. To tell you in a sweet & short way…maybe you need to take some voice lessons for yourself to see what it’s like to “strain” to get the words out. Or maybe you just don’t like your own singing so you gotta put someone else’s down to make yourself feel better. It “is” a fabulous version of the song & “is” performed by a very experienced artist who does not “strain” to get those words out. She looks deep into the eyes of her audience as she sings any song…just as she does with this song “as well”. Thank you!

  4. Matt. BNo Gravatar says:

    Leeann,

    I stopped listening to anything via allaccess due to the fact that it was very hard to give a song the fair review due to low bitrates. The song is on Roughstock’s streaming player and may be better than the all access feed. I actually only review singles based on mp3/aac or cd listening only.

  5. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Matt,
    I still would have given the song a C based on the sound quality of the Amazon clip. It would have been lower based on the All Access link alone. Those background singers and even the guitar thing later on in the song that I didn’t even mention killed it for me. I would have forgiven her vocals if not for those other factors.

    Lisa,
    I don’t have to defend my singing in order to judge someone else’s singing. If we all had to do the professions that we judged, the world would be even more chaotic than it already is. I’m not a carpenter and I would be abad one if I tried, but I certainly wouldn’t allow a carpenter to come into my house and let him/her get away with shoddy work because “I couldn’t do any better.”

  6. Razor XNo Gravatar says:

    I am so tired of the ridiculous strawman argument that unless one can sing/play/write better than the artist that is being reviewed, then one isn’t in a position to criticize. One needn’t know how to make a clock in order to tell time.

  7. Matt. BNo Gravatar says:

    Leeann,

    I certainly wasn’t stating anything about how you rated the song, merely saying that I can’t use all access for my reviews.

    I also agree that “if you’re not a singer, you shouldn’t review something” argument.

  8. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Matt,
    You agree with it or don’t agree?

  9. Matt. BNo Gravatar says:

    Oops, I don’t agree with it, I meant to say that I agree with Razor (something that rarely happens, I think) that the arguement is tired.

  10. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    That’s what I thought, Matt. So, I wanted to give you a chance to clear that up.:) It’s always nice to find common ground, huh?:)

  11. KarlieNo Gravatar says:

    Looks like Lisa hasn’t seen the Friends episode “The One Where No One Proposes”:

    Joey: …Ross, to Rachel you’ll never be just
    [makes quotation marks with fingers] “anybody”.
    Ross: There you go!
    Joey: [makes quotation marks with fingers] “Thanks”!

    This was definitely a fair review. I kind of like the song, but I think Whitney’s voice is pretty polarizing to most listeners.

  12. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Karlie,

    Awesome Friends reference!

    There’s a part of me that kind of likes this song too, but not enough to give it a glowing review.:)

  13. kayieNo Gravatar says:

    I think Leeann is full of crap!!! I know a true artist when I hear one. Such a great voice. At least you’re not listening and thinking who is this. She has her own great sound. That’s what all great singers have. A voice that just draws me in and wanting to hear more!! Way to go to being who you are. Not a copy of someone else!!!!!

  14. Paul DennisNo Gravatar says:

    It’s a medioocre song , sung by someone with a reasonably decent voice (and somewhat different), but not a compelling voice .

    I don’t think I heard any real artistic vision on display with this song, so if anyone is detecting a “true artist” here it must be wishful thinking. I’m not saying she isn’t a “true artist” ; however, I am saying that stronger evidence than this song is needed as proof

  15. danNo Gravatar says:

    this song is an old song she sang it on nash star she needs new material to be a hit

  16. Texas GalNo Gravatar says:

    This song sounds familiar. Is this the same song from Australian country singer Lee Kernaghan’s album 1959?

  17. savannahNo Gravatar says:

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I love Song….. it is just a fun song… I just love singin it…

  18. dorothyNo Gravatar says:

    i think this song is amazing whether they play it on the radio or not does not have anything to do with her ability to sing..i also think her voice is different but a good different..keep on singing whitney you will get your break thru its only a matter of time.

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