On Valentines Day 2020 US country music sensation and powerhouse vocalist Carly Pearce will release her eagerly anticipated self-titled sophomore album. The new record is the follow-up to the Kentucky native’s 2017 breakout debut ‘Every Little Thing’ and is the last full body of work to be produced by the legendary Busbee who sadly passed away earlier this year.
Here at Belles and Gals we are delighted to have had an early listen to the LP ahead of its release this coming February and here we bring you a track-by-track review of the CD:
The record kicks off with the impressive single ‘Closer To You’, it’s a great way to open the new project as it showcases Pearce’s vocal growth since 2017 and also brings the story of heartbreak and love full circle. This one is all about falling in love with her now-husband Michael Ray and it closes out the heartbreak of the first LP perfectly. It’s funky and Shania Twain esque giving it a real 90s vibe making it the perfect old-school addition to the tracklist.
‘Call Me’ is up next and once again the Nashville based artist taps into her inner 90s country crossover superstar. The pop-infused instant hit has a toe-tapping melody and cheeky tongue-in-cheek lyrics about a “good time call” – a little risque fun from the vocalist and it adds another layer to the LP showcasing the fun side of the singer/songwriter and giving fans a sing-a-long anthem.
‘I Hope You’re Happy Now’ featuring guest vocals from Lee Brice has become a massive fan favorite this year and it is a truly heartbreakingly beautiful piece of music that shines a light on Pearce’s soaring vocal delivery. Telling the real-life story of a breakup that marked new beginnings and heartbreak like never before this one ties ‘Every Little Thing’ into the new body of work and carries both stories offering an ending of the broken heart story.
At number 4 is ‘Dashboard Jesus’ – a breathtaking ballad with soul-baring lyrics that will strike a chord with listeners worldwide. Lyrics about dreaming and chasing crazy goals whilst keeping the faith of God and Jesus in her heart offers a real insight into how Carly Pearce goes about chasing her musical dreams and how she kept the faith in her religion and singing dreams when times got tough. This one is a major standout on the record and is gorgeously country.
‘Halfway Home’ comes next and yet again Carly delivers a soaring soft country ballad that will break your heart and put it back together again in the space of three minutes. Melodically pleasing with its luscious production and honest lyrics this one will be played on a loop for years to come. It has that instant classic vibe thanks to its sweet lyrical story and vocal delivery.
Up next is is ‘Heart’s Going Out Of Its Mind’ which picks up the pace and drives the record into new, funky avenues following the slower pace set by the previous ballads. This one will get the crowds on their feet when performed live thanks to its toe-tapping melody backdrop. Talking about getting high from just the touch of a hand, the track tells the story of that heady rush of falling fast for someone new and will strike a chord with fans. It’s a massive standout on the tracklist.
‘Finish Your Sentences’ arrives next and is an absolutely brilliant collaboration with her country superstar husband Michael Ray. It’s so sweet to hear their two voices blending together into one pure voice and lyrically it’s a heartfelt look at how their hearts and minds meet as one, and not wanting to share each other and knowing the other better than they know themselves. Their love is true and this track is an impressive duet from two of the most exciting vocalists on the scene right now.
At number 8 is the latest single ‘It Won’t Always Be Like This’ which is one of the most honest releases from Carly Pearce in her career. All about how she couldn’t wait to break out on her own in order to pursue her dreams this soaring, heartfelt ballad acts as a reminder to truly appreciate what you have and where you are right now. Too busy looking ahead, you’re going to miss the beauty that’s in front of you right now. This a poignant song that truly showcases the vocal and songwriting talent Pearce effortlessly possesses.
‘Lightning In A Bottle’ opens with a 90s production before leading to a modern-day vibe – this one ties the old-school with the new crossover sounds we’re used to hearing across radio perfectly. It has catchy lyrics and an anthemic almost hypnotic production and lush strings. It delivers a whole new vibe to the tracklist and shows another side to the singer/songwriter thanks to its funky feel and soft delivery.
‘Love Has No Heart’ follows and this track is another heartbreak anthem that Carly is famous for producing. This wouldn’t have been out of place on an early Shania Twain CD such is the lyrical story and gorgeous, impressive vocals. Slowing down the pace it allows for the beautiful voice of Pearce to really shine and thanks to its standout production it becomes a huge and instant hit.
Number 11 is ‘Woman Down’ – a track that showcases the inner strengh Carly Pearce and all women across the world possess. Never afraid to admit she’s wrong, take that step towards the unknown, Carly is a wonderful woman and this song gives an insight into her inner core. A powerful female empowerment anthem this one needs to played across radio especially in the US where there is a real lack of women’s voices. A major standout on the hugely impressive tracklist.
The penultimate song is ‘You Kissed Me First’ which a toe-tapping pop crossover banger – think Lady Antebellum meets Danielle Bradbery and you’ll get a real sense of what this one is all about. With pop undertones mixed with impressive country lyrics, this is a sweet slice of pop/country heaven that will delight younger listeners in particular.
Closing out the album is ‘Greener Grass’ which is a soaring ballad that brings together all the sounds heard throughout the tracklist and ties her entire back catalog together like never before. Carly Pearce is truly at her best when production is minimal allowing her vocals to really take centre stage and this is the perfect ending to the record, making you yearn for more.
Overall the self-titled sophomore offering from Carly Pearce is a divine offering of 90s country, and modern pop combining to create a truly elegant soundscape that will put her on the map as one of the very best country artists on the scene right now.