Posts Tagged ‘Joanna Smith’

Single Review: Joanna Smith, "We Can't Be Friends"

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Listening to the new Joanna Smith single, I’m reminded of when Lee Ann Womack first hit it big. I was impressed by

her taste in material and I thought the production of her records was impeccable.

But on those early hits like “The Fool” and “A Little Past Little Rock”, I always had the nagging feeling that the songs would’ve been better if they’d been recorded by Pam Tillis, who has a similar vocal style but more power and range.

Over time, Womack perfected her vocal technique and created her own distinctive style, one that is best showcased by simple arrangements and tasteful restraint.  The power of later hits like “I May Hate Myself in the Morning” and “Last Call” comes from her ability to accentuate an understated vocal will little punches of twang and power that create a dramatic effect.

So now, fifteen years after Womack first surfaced, I find myself listening to the new single by Joanna Smith and wishing it was being sung by Lee Ann Womack.   Smith’s got a great song, and she sings it well, following Patty Loveless’ golden rule: “Don’t get in the way of the song.”

But she stays out of the way of the song just a little too much, and there aren’t enough moments of twang or power to make the record interesting.    I still hope it gets a shot at radio, as it would be the best breakthrough single for a new female artist in a good long while.   I want to hear more from Smith, so I can hear more of Smith as she hones her style over time.

Grade: B+

Written by Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally, and Shelley Skidmore

Listen: We Can’t Be Friends

Single Review: Joanna Smith, “Georgia Mud”

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Is there anyone left in Nashville with a functioning memory of country music?

Trisha Yearwood put out “Georgia Rain” in 2005.  This is almost the same song.  The theme, storyline, geography, and even the weather are all identical.

The only differences?  It’s not written as well or sung as well.  Not even close.

Helpful hint to all aspiring female singers: Don’t get in the ring with Trisha Yearwood.  The very best female vocalists on radio today – Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Jennifer Nettles –   they shouldn’t get in the ring with Trisha Yearwood, unless they really are on the top of their game.

“Georgia Rain” isn’t even Trisha Yearwood at the top of her game. It’s one of her less notable singles.  But wow, does it wipe the floor with Joanna Smith and her “Georgia Mud.”

Then again, if I’m the only one who even remembers “Georgia Rain”, Smith has nothing to worry about. With the tasteful arrangement that is identifiably country, she might even be hailed as a visionary.  At least it’s not a rock record, right?

Grade: C

Listen: Georgia Mud

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