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Unmistakable Drive

Jo Dee Messina

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Album Review

In terms of commercial success, it was always Jo Dee Messina's kiss-off singles that burned up the charts: the kind of high-octane highway jams that radio listeners could shout in their cars and at their bars. Though the first two EPs Messina released in her Unmistakable trilogy, Unmistakable: Love and Unmistakable: Inspiration, were compelling and comprehensive, they lacked the certain fire that has always been ablaze in Messina's commercial endeavors. Because of this, it's not surprising that the final release of her Unmistakable trilogy, aptly titled Unmistakable: Drive, is easily her most awaited, and her strongest. The eight tracks on this extended play disc are a sharper set and a more varied mix than the first two, particularly thanks to "Biker Chick," an undervalued roar of a single that finally made its way onto an album list, and "Real Man," her best independent-woman chant in the set. In this collection, Messina has co-written three songs, two of which, "One Day Closer" and "Just Drive," are some of her best self-penned works to date — sentimental anthems underlying the theme of being strong and moving on — which are ever more powerful knowing that they are coming from an artist who has faced her handful of hardships during her 15 years in the country music scene. Unmistakable: Drive brings together some of Messina's strongest content with the help of electric guitars, slicing vocals, and a heaping spoonful of sass. Plus Messina plays it smart by serving up acoustic versions of two of her biggest singles to date, "I'm Alright" and "Lesson in Leavin'," to remind fans why they loved her the first time these singles came around. What makes this album such a great listen is that the listener is truly getting classic Jo Dee at her best: a tell-it-like-it-is firecracker with a penchant for wanting it all and getting what she wants — and this collection of tracks proves that no matter how long her fans don't hear from her, Jo Dee Messina will always put out straight-up, excellent crossover country music.

Customer Reviews

Good songs, but some missing

The "Unmistakable" series of EPs from Jo Dee Messina features some of her very best work. The first EP, Love, released in April, contained numerous fantastic songs. "Drive" is no different. However, I noticed some songs seemed to be missing. "I'm Done" and "Shine", which were released as singles over the past couple years, are absent. Those can probably be found floating around on the Internet somewhere. Also, Jo Dee Messina herself has stated that she recorded 24 songs for "Unmistakable", but there are only 15 news songs across all three EPs. Where are the other 9? Nevertheless, the songs that are here are really quite good. Check out "Real Man" and "One Day Closer". Also, Jo Dee, if you're reading this, you should really consider switching record labels. Curb is treating you like crap. "Unmistakable" should've been released ages ago.

"Just Drive" is my favorite!

Can someone tell me why "Just Drive" was not released as a single? That is my favorite tune on this trilogy. It reminds me of some of my other JoDee favorites. In any case, I'm glad I can finally purchase the song that I've been waiting for. I heard her sing it at one of her shows last year. Just Fantastic!


Jo Dee did it again!


Born: August 25, 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...
Full Bio