Jamie Lynn Spears recently debut her first country EP, The Journey, and it’s surprisingly good. You never know what to expect when a famous face suddenly comes out and says that they wanted to do country music, it could be absolutely great or completely vapid and void of real emotion and storytelling. While Jamie Lynn’s venture isn’t exactly deep, it’s a fun country EP with really beautifully orchestrated instrumentation, and even more surprising, a sweet southern vocal.
There’s the hilarious and honest, Shotgun Wedding, a story of a young couple who end up pregnant and ready to marry just weeks after meeting each other. You can feel a little bit of Jamie’s own history creeping into the lyrics when the chorus laments “It ain’t cause momma didn’t raise me right/ain’t cause daddy didn’t try, try, try/ two bored kids on a Friday night got to kissing in the dark in a parking lot…” More than anything, it’s a fun song full of rambling banjo and a danceable chorus. Then there’s Run, a typical country tune about getting out of a small town to explore something different and new. While it’s a little less exciting than the rest of the EP, it’s got a nice summery feel to it much of the same way the rest of the songs do.
One of my favorites is Mandolin Summer Sun, even more of a carefree feel in the instrumentation that inspires good times. When you’re listening to the chorus you can almost see the party playing out before your eyes, dancing around a bonfire riverside, with all your friends laughing in the summertime sunset. It’s exactly what you would expect from the title, a perfect summer song about letting go and being free. The reflective Big Bad World is a testament to life’s firsts that almost anyone can relate to. The experience of falling in love or stepping out into the world and being let down, unaware of how cruel and hurtful it can be when everything seems to fall apart. When you’re young and things go so wrong, it’s a rude awakening, and that is captured perfectly in the slow flow of the music and Jamie’s soft and pensive sound.
Of course, there’s her first single, How Could I Want More that rounds out the entire EP. It balances out the ballads from the up-tempos, allowing a full roster of emotions and experience to exist on a small, 5 track EP. Jamie Lynn Spears has a lot of critics that she needs to impress, considering famous big sister and her own background, there are a lot of people out there that want her to fail. The truth is, this is a young girl who has taken the time to build herself up and find her passion, and she’s actually talented and good at it. It’s exciting to see where this EP takes her and what is yet to come in her career.
Have you listened to The Journey? Let us know what you think by dropping a comment below or tweeting us @JukeboxMixtape.