The debut single from The Voice Season 4 winner Danielle Bradbery has one of best productions you’re likely to hear on terrestrial country radio, heavy on the sweet sounds of fiddle and mandolin. “The Heart of Dixie” also boasts an effective melody which rises and dips in a manner most fitting for a story about a woman leaving an unsatisfying life and finding newfound freedom on the open road. And while the interpretive abilities of an artist still in her teens are often limited (see early LeAnn Rimes as an example), Bradbery at least sounds genuinely engaged in the story she’s telling.
That said, it’s hard not to wish that the story itself were a bit more compelling. The protagonist “Dixie” doesn’t feel real as a character, and it doesn’t help that she’s named Dixie merely for the sake of a titular pun. You can tell a bit too easily that she’s the brainchild of three hired-gun Nashville songwriters, and her story begs to be fleshed out with greater dimension and detail. It’s the kind of story that’s definitely worth telling, but also one that’s been told better and more interestingly in the past.
The single has enough strong points to generate interest in the artist and her future efforts, but as it is, we’re left with a single that is an enjoyable listen, but uninspiring overall.
Written by Brett James, Caitlyn Smith and Troy Verges