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Erika Jo

Erika Jo

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Album Review

Erika Jo is the first female winner of USA Network's Nashville Star competition, taking home the crown for the competition that ended April 26, 2005. She's also the youngest winner of the competition, but unlike American Idol, where teenagers like Jasmine Trias and Mikalah Gordon struggled to sound adult yet wound up as little girls, country has a tradition of precocious teens sounding wise beyond their years. Erika Jo isn't as gritty as Tanya Tucker was at the age of 13, but she's not dissimilar to how LeAnn Rimes channeled the sound, if not the soul, of Patsy Cline at 13, except Erika's sound is largely based on the bright, friendly feel of Reba McEntire, and how she leans toward crossover pop without ever abandoning county. Erika Jo and her producers pattern her quickly recorded, rush-released eponymous debut album (it hit the streets a little over a month after the show ended) after that sound, usually to quite an appealing end. Despite the quick turnaround on the album, Erika Jo doesn't sound hurried or incomplete. It's a glistening, professional Music City production, grounded by a set of sturdy, if generic, songs and crafted with precise, tasteful studio musicians. If it doesn't deliver anything unexpected, it nevertheless works very well within the confines of contemporary country in 2005, not just because it's well made, but because Erika Jo is a good, surprisingly soulful singer and an energetic presence who gives this otherwise conventional music real personality. There aren't as many standout tracks along the lines of the sassy, winning first single, "I Break Things," as there should be, but Erika Jo's infectious spirit and full-throated vocals keep her debut interesting, suggesting that this is a good start to what may be quite an engaging career.

Customer Reviews

Good CD... but room for improvement.

I loved Erika Jo on Nashville Star, and I liked this CD a lot. Then I saw her in concert. She has a beautiful voice, and is gorgeous, but she needs to choose songs that she can sing on a nightly basis. The higher notes were too much for her (at least that night). Still hoping she will be given a chance at a second record... I wish they'd have released another single besides "I Break Things," makes me think they aren't giving her a whole lot of a chance.

A Pleasant Surprise

I hadn't seen Erika Jo on Nashville Star, so I found this album entirely by accident. Despite her youth she has a strong grasp of how to handle a country song without oversinging it. This album may not go down as a classic but I love the sweetly melodic Who You Are and There Are No Accidents, and the rest of the songs are at least respectable. The fact that even a hoary chestnut like I'm Not Lisa was palatable was impressive to me.

Definitely Worth Buying

My wife and I LOVE Nashville Star and have loved many of their findings. Erika Jo is no exception. This is a must buy album. I do not believe that you have to be like anybody else to be successful, but would liken the fullness of Erika Jo's voice to that of the lovely Sherrie Austin. Erika Jo's versatility is shown from the slow "I'm not Lisa" to the very upbeat "I Break Things," but also has that easy to sing along feel with songs like "Go." I hope that Erika Jo does very well! I think that this debut album will open many doors for her!

Biography

Born: November 2, 1986 in Angleton, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s, '10s

When golden-voiced Erika Jo became the winner of the USA Network's Nashville Star, she was the youngest contestant to enter the three-season-old talent competition, her big win enjoyed the highest ratings yet, and she not only won a recording contract, but a fully loaded Chevy Silverado pickup. The recording contract she could deal with, but for an 18-year-old senior who had just gone to prom a week before her victory, the Silverado proved too much to handle. It was this same combination of charming...
Full Bio
Erika Jo, Erika Jo
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