10 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

As the lead singer of Trick Pony, Heidi Newfield established herself on country radio in the ‘90s with frothy fare like “Pour Me” and “On a Mission,” but her solo debut album What Am I Waiting For has a more substantial feel. Produced by veteran hit-maker Tony Brown, these tracks are in a classic country mode, boasting above-average songwriting and well-tailored arrangements. Newfield’s vocals — tempering a rough edge with a honey-smooth delivery — recall those of such sultry chanteuses as Bobbie Gentry and Sammi Smith. Those looking for sassy Trick Pony-like exercises will be pleased by “Nothin’ Burns Like a Memory” and especially “Knocked Up.” But tormented ballads like “Love Her and Lose Me” (a plainspoken confession worthy of Tammy Wynette) and “Wreck You” (an unsparing portrait of a crumbling marriage) are the real showpieces here. Not all is sorrow though; “Johnny and June” celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Cash, while the title number tingles with dawning optimism. Stretching out a little, Newfield does a credible job with “Can’t Let Go,” a song previously cut by Lucinda Williams. What Am I Waiting For is an impressive, often revelatory album by an artist who’s left the trickery behind.

EDITORS’ NOTES

As the lead singer of Trick Pony, Heidi Newfield established herself on country radio in the ‘90s with frothy fare like “Pour Me” and “On a Mission,” but her solo debut album What Am I Waiting For has a more substantial feel. Produced by veteran hit-maker Tony Brown, these tracks are in a classic country mode, boasting above-average songwriting and well-tailored arrangements. Newfield’s vocals — tempering a rough edge with a honey-smooth delivery — recall those of such sultry chanteuses as Bobbie Gentry and Sammi Smith. Those looking for sassy Trick Pony-like exercises will be pleased by “Nothin’ Burns Like a Memory” and especially “Knocked Up.” But tormented ballads like “Love Her and Lose Me” (a plainspoken confession worthy of Tammy Wynette) and “Wreck You” (an unsparing portrait of a crumbling marriage) are the real showpieces here. Not all is sorrow though; “Johnny and June” celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Cash, while the title number tingles with dawning optimism. Stretching out a little, Newfield does a credible job with “Can’t Let Go,” a song previously cut by Lucinda Williams. What Am I Waiting For is an impressive, often revelatory album by an artist who’s left the trickery behind.

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