12 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

There are oblique hints about the ups and downs of Crystal Bowersox’s career on All That for This, her well-realized sophomore album. When the attention she earned on American Idol didn't translate to mainstream country success, she returned to her folk-pop roots and began to write songs more reflective of her tastes. With the help of producer Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), Bowersox turns All That for This into an ode to resilience, acknowledging her bruised dreams while nurturing hope for the future. “Dead Weight” and “Amen for My Friends” are among the tracks that reaffirm the good things in life while exploring the looser edges of acoustic country. Crisp horns and easy grooves give “Movin’ On” and “Everything Falls into Place” a Memphis soul feel, while a cover of The Sundays’ “Here’s Where the Story Ends” adds moody ’80s-pop colors. Jakob Dylan duets with Bowersox on “Stitches,” a poignant alt-country love ballad. Bowersox’s vocals especially shine on the ethereal “I Am.” Most of all, she sounds comfortable in her own skin here.

EDITORS’ NOTES

There are oblique hints about the ups and downs of Crystal Bowersox’s career on All That for This, her well-realized sophomore album. When the attention she earned on American Idol didn't translate to mainstream country success, she returned to her folk-pop roots and began to write songs more reflective of her tastes. With the help of producer Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), Bowersox turns All That for This into an ode to resilience, acknowledging her bruised dreams while nurturing hope for the future. “Dead Weight” and “Amen for My Friends” are among the tracks that reaffirm the good things in life while exploring the looser edges of acoustic country. Crisp horns and easy grooves give “Movin’ On” and “Everything Falls into Place” a Memphis soul feel, while a cover of The Sundays’ “Here’s Where the Story Ends” adds moody ’80s-pop colors. Jakob Dylan duets with Bowersox on “Stitches,” a poignant alt-country love ballad. Bowersox’s vocals especially shine on the ethereal “I Am.” Most of all, she sounds comfortable in her own skin here.

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About Crystal Bowersox

Taking cues from her favorite songwriters -- including Melissa Etheridge, Janis Joplin, and Sista Otis -- Crystal Bowersox brought a relaxed, folksy vibe to the ninth season of American Idol. Although she auditioned for the show in Chicago, Bowersox grew up five hours east in Elliston, Ohio, a small town with fewer than 100 residents. She began writing songs as a ten-year-old and, by her early teens, had formed a band with her brothers. Dubbed “Oldinuph” -- a name that poked fun at their own adolescence -- the siblings played shows throughout Ottawa County for several years, with Bowersox writing most of their original material. She eventually moved to Chicago at the age of 17, looking to pursue her career in a bigger city.

Bowersox spent five years in Chicago before moving back home to give birth to her son, Tony. She continued performing in local venues, though, and auditioned for American Idol during a weekend trip to Chicago in 2009. Although her blonde dreadlocks and earthy vocals made her a rarity among most Idol contenders, Bowersox quickly became an audience favorite, breezing through each round of the competition with performances of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “Me and Bobby McGee,” and other rootsy songs. Following Siobhan Magnus' elimination in early May, Bowersox was the only female contestant left, and she eventually finished as the runner-up to American Idol champion Lee DeWyze. Her debut album, Farmer's Daughter, appeared later that year. Farmer's Daughter received a standard post-Idol media push, but the album failed to turn into a hit. The following year, RCA records went under a restructuring that left Bowersox without a record label. In 2012, she signed with Shanachie Records and the label teamed her with producer Steve Berlin (best-known as a member of Los Lobos), and the resulting record, All That for This, showed up in March of 2013.

~ Andrew Leahey

  • ORIGIN
    Toledo, OH
  • GENRE
    Pop
  • BORN
    August 4, 1985

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