By Emily Wagner
Last week Carly Pearce released her self titled sophomore album, full of 13 songs spanning the length of love, loss, and self love. It’s safe to say that not only does Pearce sound so good on each and every song, but she sounds like she has a good grasp on the artist that she wants to be. ‘
For those who maybe tire of the overly produced pop sounds that we get from the likes of Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris, Carly Pearce takes a step back, simplifying the songs with easy musicality with touches of 90’s country influence.
A few songs that make the album as good as it is are “Dashboard Jesus” and “Woman Down.” The latter is a slow, strong cadence that gives you that ‘women power’ feeling, without it being shoved down your throat. Meanwhile “Dashboard Jesus” can certainly be taken as a personal story about Pearce’s journey to where she is today, but it can be taken for anyone grinding for that dream.
“It Won’t Always Be Like This” is Carly’s bread and butter. Her alto voice can carry a ballad like no other. A song that was inspired by Pearce’s grandparents and how quickly life passes you buy, turned into something more, when a year later, Pearce’s producer and dear friend Busbee died.
If you are more a fan of the fun “Hide the Wine” side of Carly, you must listen to “You Kissed Me First.” Written by the well-known Hilary Lindsey, this song is light and playful, and hopefully is the next single.
The two singles already released from the album are “Closer to You” a song which deserved higher praise, and the duet with Lee Brice “I Hope You’re Happy Now.” Together Carly and Lee sound great, but this song just lacks something, it falls flat. But yet it’s cracked the top 15 on the charts!
The other duet on the album comes from Pearce’s new husband, Michael Ray. Honestly, maybe expectations were too high, but this song was a sad let down. Considering the writers on the track (Kelsea Ballerini and Thomas Rhett), this song is not the all star, on repeat track I was hoping for. Plus, all I hear is “we finish each other’s….sandwiches” thanks Frozen.
This album has some hits and misses, some hidden gems, and it’ll be interesting to see the effect it has on Carly’s career. I love that it’s an album that you have to sit and intently listen to. Every song is purposeful and together they make up a really solid follow up album.