Single Review: Jamie Lynn Spears, “How Could I Want More”

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January 7, 2014

Jamie-Lynn-Spears-How-Could-I-Want-MoreSo… this is coming from pop idol Britney Spears’ 22-year-old younger sister who starred in a teen sitcom on Nickelodeon, and who became a tabloid favorite thanks to a controversial teen pregnancy. By all immediate expectations, her debut country single should be a disaster, and I should be making a stale pun out of the song’s title, right?

Only it isn’t a disaster. It’s well written, competently sung, and backed by a confident, un-fussy production that unmistakably identifies it as a country record. No disastrous attempts at power notes, no wall of thrashing guitars – just simple, gimmick-free, no-frills storytelling with generous amounts of country instrumentation. A pleasant surprise coming from a figure who could easily coast along on name recognition.

It’s unfortunate that “How Could I Want More” is hindered by a few clichés (“Treats me like a princess,” “Let’s me have it my way,” etc.), but the gaps are filled in with a fully realized melody and a tastefully restrained vocal. One might even hear shades of Deana Carter in Spears’ vocal stylings – poised, subtle, sincere, and with a hint of twang.

We’ll have to wait and see if Spears’ full-length debut country album, due out later this year, will bring her any closer to the potential suggested by this single. But if “How Could I Want More” is a sign of an artist taking her cues from country’s finest storytellers of the nineties, I will gladly welcome the younger Spears sibling into the country fold with open arms.

Written by Jamie Lynn Spears and Rivers Rutherford

Grade: B+

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  1. bobNo Gravatar says:

    Have to agree with your review. She sounds good. Maybe working with a veteran songwriter helped. Favorite Rivers Rutherford song: “Smoke Rings in the Dark”, written with Robert Boyd Houston.

  2. Motown MikeNo Gravatar says:

    I almost fainted at 1:58 when that dobro run started. I almost fainted when I found myself thoroughly enjoying a Jamie Lynn Spears song as well.

    Seriously though, I sincerely hope that the Nashville label executives don’t get a hold of her and steer her towards being a generic, shallow, run of the mill country artist, like way too many other mainstream artists today. If she can stick with whomever produced this song and a solid group of core songwriters, ala George Strait and Dean Dillon, she can become an artist and a successful one at that. I’m not counting on that but I’m also not counting her out. Here’s to you Jamie Lynn, may your future be ripe and abundant with good, honest country music. May you also be more than just a singer of a generic song at a generic point in time, rather an artist that stands the test of time.

  3. Noah EatonNo Gravatar says:

    What’s next: Eminem’s daughter making a foray to this format and winds up being heralded as the worthy successor of Loretta Lynn? Stranger things have happened! =P

    Seriously, though, this is among the more enjoyable debut singles I’ve heard over the past year. The use of dobro alone commands my great respect. Now let’s hope “How Could I Want More” is more the rule than the exception to how her debut full-length album will sound and is produced.

  4. Crap, this is good.

    It’s clear that JLS isn’t bringing vocal fireworks to the party – she reminds me of Kimberly Perry with a more limited range of tone and expression, but a slightly sweeter and less “shouty” average timbre.

    If this single is any measure of her skill as a stylist/interpreter, however, and if she can write or otherwise acquire material of at least this caliber on a regular basis, I think she might just make it in Country music. Either way, I eagerly await the release of her album.

  5. Six String RichieNo Gravatar says:

    I just mentioned this song in the Year End Singles post! I can’t believe Jamie Lynn Spears’ single reminds me of Kacey Musgraves. How is that possible? I totally dig this song but, sadly, I don’t know if radio will play it since she currently is signed to her own label. Without big label support it will be hard to get a song this country played. The song did make the Country Digital Top 10 so maybe there’s hope. Let’s start the new year right and make this a #1 hit!

  6. NollaigNo Gravatar says:

    I haven’t seen a bad review of “How Could I Want More”, every review has been positive and complimentary which is very fitting. Everyone has been surprised with Jamie Lynn coming out with such a good country song and it’s obvious from the quality of it that she has worked hard in Nashville.So let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long for a full album and that she continues to get the support she deserves.

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