Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Jana Kramer (self-titled)

"The young country singer Jana Kramer has a reedy, harmless voice, and she spends a good deal of her warm, approachable self-titled debut album (on Elektra Nashville) hiding behind it. Her breakthrough hit 'Why Ya Wanna' is a wounded plea to an ex to keep his distance; weakness is its selling point, and it’s an effective sell. An actress who’s had roles on 'One Tree Hill,' '90210' and 'Friday Night Lights,' Ms. Kramer may not be built for rowdiness, though she’s trying. 'I hate four-inch heels,' she chirps on 'Goodbye California,' the song in which she swaps milieus but doesn’t abandon her good mood. And yet it’s her voice, with its narrow message, that makes her sour songs that much more sweet. 'I Hope It Rains' is sung cheerfully, like an encouraging pep talk to a friend, except really she’s patronizingly patting an ex on the head: 'I hope it rains, hope it pours/I hope she’s in heels and some little white shorts.' But her best moments are on 'Over You by Now' and on the outright devastating 'When You’re Lonely,' which seethes with the fire of early Reba McEntire, or the darker side of Dolly Parton’s oeuvre, with Ms. Kramer letting her voice bleed at the edges and drawing her vowels out and down, landing on fertile, strange ground somewhere between Faith Hill and Gary Allan" (Jon Caramanica, "Sanding Down the Grit on Rap and Metal," New York Times, 6/22/12).

View catalog record here!


Post a Comment

<< Home