REVIEW: Jessie James Decker – ‘Gold’ (EP)

LifeInASong_UK

Straight in at Number 5 on the Billboard Country album charts, ‘Gold’ is the latest EP release from Jessie James Decker. I LOVE Jessie’s vocals – the woman is a powerhouse!! However, this record for me is a little disappointing. It is very much the same commercialized, radio pleasing, predictable, Country Pop tracks that lack originality and passion.

The opening track of the EP ‘Shoot out the Lights’ was written by Maren Morris, Brett Tyler and Marty Dodson.  Its super catchy, but sounds far too much like ‘Lights Down Low’. With only 2 actual verses, it’s a very basic story of a couple whose spark is dimming, as the relationship progresses.

‘Shoot out the lights while we’re still young
Chase the moon till the morning comes
Let ’em say we’re the crazy ones, crazy ones
Let’s breathe the air that we used to breathe
Back when we were seventeen
I want you looking at me like you did that night
So let’s shoot out the lights, shoot out the lights’

Other than a good hook with the chorus, this is not a song I will remember.

Hoping to get something with a little more feeling, we move onto ‘Girl on the Coast’. Island vibes and ukulele give it a laid-back summer sound. I’m hearing a lot of parallels to Gwen Stefani’s ‘Cool’ with this track. For me, the lyrics are thrown together and predictable for this kind of song. If the demographic is teenage girls on vacation then I suppose it’s appealing, but it lacks any real substance.

Nearly halfway through the EP and honestly, there’s not a huge amount on offer to keep my attention. There’s nothing that stands out or gives Jessie any sort of original, distinctive sound. Her vocals are amazing, yet she has stayed in a comfort zone here and I feel like she has so much more to give artistically. The songs that have been chosen for her at this point are not what I would have liked to hear from an artist like Jessie. I was hoping for her to bring something real, hard-hitting and strong to the table. This is not what we have got here.

The title track ‘Gold’ is probably the most stripped-back of the lot and offers the most in terms of substance. The intro sounds like a lapping wave; cue gentle guitar and piano, to set a relaxed, beachy scene. With lyrics that reflect on the real ‘riches’ of life, this track tells the age old story of ‘we don’t know what tomorrow will bring’, so make the most of what we have in the here and now.

‘This is gold
I wanna hold and never let go
Oh no
Who knows what tomorrow’s gonna bring
So right here, right now
Is all I care about
Life’s about having nights like tonight
And days like today that never get old
This is gold
This is gold.’

This is the kind of record that I would have on in the background while chatting with friends. I’m not saying by any means that it’s bad, but it is very nondescript. There is nothing that makes it stand out and I am surprised it has gone straight in as high as it has on the Billboard Country Album Chart. I expected more from Jessie, with the vocal range that she has… I just wanted to hear something with more passion and grit. I wanted to feel what she was singing about and connect with the music. This is just far too safe for what I think she could be capable of.

Kate Hutchinson

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