Picks and Pans Review: Now
While LeAnn Rimes tried too hard to grow up on last year's dreadful Twisted Angel, her country-pop competitor, singer Jessica Andrews, is content to act her age (19) on her unabashedly youthful and upbeat third album. Displaying a grace and sweetness that is too rare among today's young female singers, this Tennessee native is a charming throwback to a more innocent, less world-weary era. This disc even includes a song called "Sunshine and Love," a bright-toned tune filled with enough optimism to prompt Avril Lavigne and Vanessa Carlton to crack smiles. Meanwhile, the traditional country of "Cowboy Guarantee" generates an old-fashioned warmth and romance that bring to mind a young Judy Collins.
Although "God Don't Give Up on Us" seems dutifully political at best, in general, veteran producer Byron Gallimore steers his young charge deftly, backing her with some sprightly fiddle on the cheerful love song "Second Sunday" and letting her romp through the playful "Good Time," one of two tracks that Andrews cowrote. While it would be gratifying to hear Andrews sing a song that is more than two years old sometime, it's refreshing to hear youth truly be served.
BOTTOM LINE: Now that's what we call teen music