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Unmistakable Inspiration

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Album Review

Following the physical launch of Unmistakable: Love, Curb Records quietly released the second and third parts of Jo Dee Messina's Unmistakable trilogy digitally in the fall of 2010. The two parts released following Love, Unmistakable: Inspiration and Unmistakable: Drive, are built exactly in the mold of the first one — eight tracks long, with two acoustic covers of her former singles. On her second album of the trilogy, Unmistakable: Inspiration, Messina delivers a mixed bag of midtempo tunes and ballads centering on the theme of inspiration. Of the eight tracks, however, five are familiar tunes, including "Keep the Faith," Messina's original penned track from her Christmas album A Joyful Noise; "Heaven Was Needing a Hero," an immaculate recording released as a charity single nearly five years previously; and "That's God," a low-charting single released earlier in 2010. That means there are only 12 minutes of new music: "How Do You Get High" and "Get Up Again" are her two potential singles in the set, both elevating radio-ready numbers that would put a smile on any blue face, particularly the latter. Plus, the acoustic version of "Even God Must Get the Blues," Messina's undervalued earnest ballad from her 1998 album I'm Alright, is pure magic. Nothing on this record is terrible; however, the collection of tracks here is so misguided in its assembly that the album has no cohesive feel, because the bulk of the recordings come from completely different sessions, and eras, of Messina's lengthy career. The flow is off on this set, and of the three records in the Unmistakable trilogy, it appears to be the most rushed and least planned.


Born: 25 August 1970 in Framingham, MA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Part of country music's late-'90s crop of female crossover stars, Jo Dee Messina's appeal nonetheless remained more with country fans than pop audiences. Messina was born August 25, 1970, in Framingham, Massachusetts, and grew up in nearby Holliston. She sang in musical plays starting at age eight but discovered country music at age 12 and got hooked on the likes of the Judds, Reba McEntire, and Dolly Parton. She soon started performing live, and by 16 she was playing local clubs with a rhythm section...
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Unmistakable Inspiration, Jo Dee Messina
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