Written by Ingrid Andress and Ryan Lafferty
The second single from Ingrid Andress’ Lady Like album, “The Stranger” mostly carries the same strengths as her excellent debut single, “More Hearts Than Mine.” She’s a powerful vocalist with a real sense of urgency, hence why her frustration with where this relationship is headed truly shines.
Plus, it’s always nice to hear a country-pop record that borrows more from the lusher tendencies of a Caitlyn Smith song than the choppy, lifeless tendencies of a Sam Hunt one. The hazy reverb opening the track doesn’t do it justice, as it’s mostly a sparse track otherwise, carried by piano, organ, pedal steel and gentler percussion. Ironically, that subtle, seamless blending is how the track builds its power.
I do, however, wish we’d gotten some better details to flesh out the story; either that or a third verse. Or a stronger bridge. Anything, really. A dance on a barroom floor is hardly new for a country love song.
That’s, of course, provided that one can call it a country song anyway. Andress’ vocal timbre owes more to contemporary pop vocalists and doesn’t yet quite reflect a distinct style, but, given how, again, her musical brand is far more appealing than other artists getting away with far worse on a country radio playlist, it’s merely something to point out rather than a flaw.
Plus, it’s all about the performance anyway, which Andress nails effortlessly.