14 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On her long-awaited sophomore album, Ashton Shepherd takes a more mainstream country direction without sacrificing the honesty or gustiness shown on her 2008 debut release. What separates this Alabama-born singer/songwriter from her peers is both the conviction in her delivery and her ability as a writer to make even familiar themes seem fresh with vivid, authentic imagery. Shepherd conjures of memories of early Loretta Lynn and Reba McEntire by taking a tough feminist stance with a distinctly down-home spin. In “Look It Up” and “That All Leads to One Thing,” she rips into cheating lovers with a righteous fury. She’s just as believable celebrating the joys of small-town life (“More Cows Than People”), relishing fun in the sun (“Beer On a Boat”) or looking back at her teenage years with fondness (“Rory’s Radio”). Like Miranda Lambert, Shepherd flirts with a bad-girl image (especially on the rollicking “Tryin’ to Go to Church”), yet never loses her innate wholesomeness. Buddy Cannon’s production serves her well by balancing rootsy sounds with a radio-friendly approach.

EDITORS’ NOTES

On her long-awaited sophomore album, Ashton Shepherd takes a more mainstream country direction without sacrificing the honesty or gustiness shown on her 2008 debut release. What separates this Alabama-born singer/songwriter from her peers is both the conviction in her delivery and her ability as a writer to make even familiar themes seem fresh with vivid, authentic imagery. Shepherd conjures of memories of early Loretta Lynn and Reba McEntire by taking a tough feminist stance with a distinctly down-home spin. In “Look It Up” and “That All Leads to One Thing,” she rips into cheating lovers with a righteous fury. She’s just as believable celebrating the joys of small-town life (“More Cows Than People”), relishing fun in the sun (“Beer On a Boat”) or looking back at her teenage years with fondness (“Rory’s Radio”). Like Miranda Lambert, Shepherd flirts with a bad-girl image (especially on the rollicking “Tryin’ to Go to Church”), yet never loses her innate wholesomeness. Buddy Cannon’s production serves her well by balancing rootsy sounds with a radio-friendly approach.

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