Emily West, “That Kind of Happy”

emilywest1Emily West’s latest single “That Kind of Happy” genuinely makes me “that kind of happy” while somehow managing not to be “fake happy” (i.e., “country radio happy”) in the process. Finally, someone got it right. West shows us that a fun song, a fascinating vocal performance chalk full of personality and genuine talent are not mutually exclusive. This is far and away my favorite single of the year so far.

I wasn’t sold on West’s music with her last single “Rocks in Your Shoes,” but I was sold on the artist.  Her personality was infectious. This time around, I’m sold on the music as well. Her appreciation for older artists isn’t superficial and that comes across in her production and vocal choices. This single is very modern, yet at the same time feels surprisingly traditional. It’s a good combo and it works very well for West.

This is the kind of song that initially drew me into country music in the 90s.  If you feel like country has lost its spark in the past few years, download “That Kind of Happy” and join the unofficial Emily West fan club by requesting this song on your local station. For those who need help finding their local radio stations – perhaps you’ve forgotten about them in the past few years – try this: Radio Locator.

Grade: A

Listen: “That Kind of Happy



  1. I liked “Rocks in Your Shoes” quite a bit, so I’m glad this song catches your attention. I’m pulling for Emily in a big way. I hope an album is actually released for her sometime soon.

  2. I actually don’t know how to classify this. On one hand, the beat/style is kind of reminiscent of a more rocking “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden,” but I also hear some Shania influence and something kind of 50’s pop-ish that I can’t put my finger on. I guess it’s at least as country as anything on the radio, though, so whatever.

    Anyways, I agree with the general feelings of the review. The hook to this song sounds like it’s trying a little too hard to be clever, which is a trend I’ve noticed in some of West’s music that I’ve heard so far, but the verses legitimately are clever, so there’s definitely potential here. And she’s a great singer. My only other complaint is that I think I would like it even more if the production/vocal weren’t so “huge”. I think it could work better a little dialed-down. But yeah, this definitely stands out.

  3. Dan, I definitely hear “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” in the song as well. Normally, I would agree about the desire for the vocals to be dialed down, but here it actually works for me (and no one is more shocked about that than I am ;).

  4. If you think it’s a good recording, you’ve got to hear her do it live. Love Emily and love “That Kind of Happy.” It’s the kind of song that makes me wish I was going through a break-up. It’d be my anthem.

    I hope radio gets on the ball and starts pushing “That Kind of Happy” like it should – she’s a completely legitimate talent, which is sorely lacking in most of what gets played on country radio today. Good luck, Emily!

  5. The 9513 guys (Jim M. if I remember right) really liked “rocks” as a song.

    What will it take to get radio behind some one new?

  6. “What will it take to get radio behind some one new?”

    She’d have to be a) a guy and b) boring.

    I personally loved “Rocks,” although I can easily understand how others wouldn’t take a shine to it. It has a distinct, quirky personality to it, and that usually makes for lots of different reactions.

  7. Ditto to “Rocks”, Dan. People always compared it to “If You’re Going Through Hel”, but I thought it was far superior in melodic structure and performance.

  8. I wasn’t too sure about this song the first time I’ve heard it, but with repeated listenings I am really starting to like it. It’s definitely worth 79 cents to download it from Amazon.

    I wonder when Capitol will release a full-length album for her?

  9. I’m with you, Razor. I wasn’t hooked at first either, but it really has grown on me and I was pleasantly surprised about the 79 cents.

  10. Love it. I downloaded ‘Rocks In Your Shoes’ a few months ago, and I was a big fan of her vocals but not the song so much. This is a great song and I couldn’t agree with your review more.

  11. The percussion sounds like an accelerated version of Pickler’s “Best Days of Your Life.” I hear the Shania “influence,” too. Anyone remember the Kinleys from the mid-’90s? West’s voice sounds like a stronger, more supple cousin to their close harmonies. She’s a terrific vocalist, but the concept is a little clunky and the lyric has a few soft spots. As a singer and performer, she’s miles ahead of many who are shoved down our throats.

  12. I too really hear the Shaina influence in it, not a bad thing. It does remind me of a couple of songs but I can’t put my finger on it maybe it is the beat of “Best Days”, or “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” hmmmm.

    I do wish we could get a whole record released as well, I think she has what it takes for one and has proven it with her singles thus far. But I do think if her label gave a decent push to radio people would really get behind her, seeing as the majority of traditionalist are really sick of country radio right now.

  13. I’m loving this one, as I’ve loved all her work so far, people seriously need to hear her song “Blue Sky” it’s gotta be one of the best songs of the last few years that will sadly probably not recieve a lot of attention. Her song “New Girlfriend” is a fun one too…

  14. I just love her sound and could only find the one single on Itunes. Hopefully the other songs talked about above will be available for purchase soon!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.