Friday, January 31, 2014

Album Review: Jennifer Nettles - That Girl

Jennifer Nettles has managed to release a solo album that doesn't sound like Sugarland, and considering she is the voice of Sugarland, that's quite a fete.

What sets That Girl apart from her work with Sugarland, is the maturity in the songwriting, and the album is a lot more than just the run of the mill country album.

Take the title track "That Girl," which sounds just a little bit like 90s Cher. That's just the tip of the iceberg. "Jealousy" is pop gold with a touch of Nettles signature twang. There's a jazzy swing to this song that screams sexy. She keeps that vibe going with a touch of blues on "This One's For You."

This album is so vastly different from her previous work and that is what makes it so amazing. Even when she goes back to her country roots on "Know You Wanna Know" she doesn't deliver the expected. This is more rockabilly.

The songs on That Girl may not have the earworm potential that her work with Sugarland is known for, but she's proven that she's more than just a country singer.

Perhaps the quality of the songs she's written (10 of the 11 were penned by Nettles) with the help of notable writers such as Richard Marx, Sara Barielles and Butch Walker, make the album stand out. However its amusing to learn that "Know You Wanna Know" is the song co-written with Marx. That song is so lively and that is is hard to believe the ballad king had his hand in it.

Whatever the reason, That Girl is going to make more than the country fans sit up and take notice of Jennifer Nettles and for good reason. The lady has a voice that can twang, rock, swing and go all bluesy.

If there were any songs that stick out as better than any other, "This Angel" is one of them. It is a ballad that definitely can hold a candle to "Stay" from Sugarland's Enjoy The Ride.

So if you are looking for a Sugarland-ish album, you might want to step away. But if you want to hear Jennifer Nettles at her vocal best, than you don't want to miss That Girl.

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