I've seen about 30 seconds of One Tree Hill so when checking iTunes a few months ago I had no idea who in the heck Jana Kramer was. When I heard "I Won't Give Up" back in February of 2011 I instantly fell in love with her voice. Next I got to hear "Why Ya Wanna" and found out she was going to have a Country CD released and knew I'd have to get it. I decided to pre-order it through Jana's website and patiently awaited receiving my CD and signed slipcover/booklet. When the CD arrived I immediately popped it into my computer and added all the songs to my iPod and planned to listen to the CD at work on June 5th and have played it nearly once every work day since.
I don't expect Jana's music to appeal to all country fans and I'm sure some will go in thinking she's more pop than country as that is what much of the genre has become. A few songs may give that impression but there is no denying that the Detroit girl is all country at heart.
Below are my thoughts on and/or understandings of the songs ..really the titles do give away what the songs are about
Good Time Comin' On - This song is a total party anthem that is guaranteed to have you bopping along.
I Hope It Rains - A girl gets dumped, finds out her ex doesn't need the time or space he implied and she hopes he gets what's coming to him for breaking her heart. This is the type of song many females would wish upon their former beau.
Why Ya Wanna - Again the heartbroken girl, from a small town, encounters her ex that she is still trying to get over. Unfortunately for her letting go has been hard and his presence brings those feelings right back to the forefront.
Goodbye California - More pop than country that's for sure and not about heartbreak unlike the previous two. Not one of my favorites on the album but its catchy. Basically a country girl, displaced to California for some time but as much as she loves Cali there's nothing quite like home.
Whiskey - Another "teary" song about the boy went away. Totally feel a country-ism when she says "everybody way up north call him Cornbread." I'm probably just dense on this song but her voice comes off so soothing I don't worry about the confusion.
Over You By Now - By far the slowest tempo song on her album. Another sad song about a boyfriend that fell out of love but couldn't find the nerve to tell her right away in turn causing her to poor her heart out about how she could have moved on had he told her when he first realized it. Honestly a really good song and one that should be released as her next single.
One of the Boys - Tomboyish anthem. Essentially the PERFECT girl, country accent, little to no makeup, blue jeans, and ball cap. Just a girl looking to have a good time with the fellas. Up-tempo and very solid.
What I Love About Your Love - As if the title didn't give away what this song is about. There are times where I feel the twang in her voice comes off a bit odd when she says certain words (feet and sometimes love). Definitely a song a girl will be singing to her man when she's smitten with him.
When You're Lonely - Another slower paced song, another problem with an ex. This one only comes around when he's lonely or hurt by something BUT she basically tells him tough luck and that she won't travel down that road again. This is the type of song I wish more women would abide by rather than giving in to the guy that hurt them and will continue to do so.
King of Apology - Up-tempo song where Jana lets the guy that always apologizes for everything he does to her which hurts her or pisses her off know that she's not going to forgive him again. Really catchy ditty.
Good As You Were Bad - Once again Jana is hurt by a former lover, one that treated her amazing but could treat her just as poorly. I equate this song to someone that was a drunk or drug addict that could be abusive. One thing Jana does in this that she does in the other sad songs is she sings it with feeling and pulls you into her pain.
I honestly don't believe there is a bad song on the album and there aren't many musicians that I will listen to their whole CD constantly and not grow tired of it (anything Carrie Underwood, anything Lady Antebellum, almost anything Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney's "When the Sun Goes Down," anything Daughtry, and anything Theory of A Deadman). Jana Kramer's CD has joined those quickly.
For a debut it sure is a strong one. My personal feeling is that its one of the better Country CDs we'll hear in 2012, whether sales reflect it or not. If you can catch her on the road with Brad Paisley I would suggest you do it. She's beautiful and has an amazing voice.
For the album I have to give it a 5/5. Some people may not care for all the songs regarding the girl who had her heartbroken or it may not be their type of country but anyone that is a fan of Country music should at least give the album a listen. I for one can not wait to see what Jana does for an encore, until then I'll catch up on her movies.