Jana Kramer – Thirty One

coverJana Kramer is in a good place this year. Marriage in May to Washington Redskins NFL tight end Mike Caussin, a baby girl expected shortly and now the release of her second album “Thirty One”. It’s no surprise therefore that the opening line of one of the standout tracks “Love” is “I still believe in fairy tales”.

“Thirty one” (her age) is a follow up to her 2012 album “Jana Kramer” which launched her music career after 10 years in front of the cameras.

She has returned to work with Country Music producer Scott Hendricks who has worked with just about every stellar name in Nashville. He was responsible for her maiden single hit record “Why Ya Wanna” which launched her music career with a top 5 Billboard Country Song.

This 11 track album starts with “Boomerang” a foot tapper that will be appreciated by live audiences on her forthcoming US mini tour. We continue with the guitar led rock based “Don’t Touch My Radio”. The album’s best track however is the current single “I got the boy” which is currently gracing the Top 20 US Country charts and has a traditional country vibe.

She is at her best when singing the ballads and the aforementioned “Love” deals with her determination to see the best of everyone.

“Bullet”, a duet with Steven Tyler includes the lines “thank god I dodged a bullet….thank god I didn’t do it” Is this a reference to her prior break-up with Brantley Gilbert? We best not go there!

“Said no one ever” could almost be lifted from a Taylor Swift album. It even ends with the Swift trademark “whatever”. Country pop at its best.

The album ends with the fitting “last song” which deals with the emotional baggage of a prior relationship and Jana’s delivery is clearly from the heart. It is obviously very personal and therapeutic. She is certainly an artist that isn’t shy about baring her soul, and this album showcases her wonderful lyric-writing abilities.

Overall, I feel the album is a mixed bag. Jana is certainly at her strongest with the slower tracks, and do look out for the Taylor clone “Said no one ever”. If they go with this one for the next single she could have a rather large hit record. You heard it here first.