Some days, everything you hear on the radio is music to your ears (some cliches work here ). Other days, it’s more like the turntable needle scratching across a vinyl record, again and again. What makes fans connect (or disconnect) with a song?
Heart. The lyrics, the vocals, and music have to resonate with the listeners. Lyrics written by a young artist, some with wide eye innocence, can still connect with an older listener who can’t help but remember happy times gone by.
If songs are compared to puzzles, vocal styling might be the glue that is spread across the completed jigsaw to hold it all in place. It helps too when the artist e-nun-ci-ate-s the words. Of course, the lyrics can be spot on, the vocals crystal clear, but if the the music overpowers the other two, it’s nails on the chalkboard time.
So which artist describes her own music as “the swoon of Patsy Cline, the vibe of Chris Isaak, and the balls of Neko Case”? The one, The Only … Heidi Feek (reviewer’s note: a very appropriately titled album I might add). She literally lived the honky tonk world 24/7 along Nashville’s Music Row, sleeping in her dad’s guitar case as a young girl as he shared songs he’d written.
By age 9, dad was asking Heidi her opinion of his songs. Dad’s influence continues … songs by Elvis, Steve Earle, Chris Isaak, and Dwight Yoakam remain among her favorite … and he co-wrote nine of the 11 songs on the album. Busy man, that Rory Feek (who is known for other co-writes like Easton Corbin’s “A Little More Country Than That“ and Blake Shelton’s “Some Beach“).
Opening with “I Like The Way“, the song evokes the raw emotions felt when a lover’s single touch sends shivers of pleasure up your spine. Whether you are 28 or 58, you understand. Sometimes a GPS isn’t needed to know where you’re going … listen to “57 Bel Air“ and its comparison to the fun a woman has when her man shows his bad boy side.
“Berlin“ will have you think spring, dreams, hearts, body, soul, love. From Germany head over to Spain and hear “One Night With You“. Many recent country songs imply the fun time between sunset and sunrise, this song lets you feel the passion of the night hours.
One of my favorites is the haunting “Someday Somebody“. If Karma were to record a tune, this would be it. Oh yeah, you know, that one person who said they loved you, only to leave you broken, without even a good-bye. Well, mister, get ready for it’s your turn to have a lover look you in the eye, and destroy everything you thought was real.
Co-written by Rory and Sara Evans in the late ‘90s, “There Lives A Fool“ tells the story of a woman looking into her mirror, seeing the fool she believes she is, while others around her have no idea she feels that way. Another lonely soul closes out the album. “Heartbreak Hotel“ (a song recorded by originally by Elvis Presley in 1956) is about a lonely man who commits suicide by jumping out a hotel window.
Now how can a twenty-something artist capture the searing emptiness that man felt? The song itself was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame 18 years ago. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine named it one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame added it to their 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll chart. Will Heidi’s version rise to the top of the charts like the Willie Nelson/Leon Russell duet did in 1979? You’ll have to do what this reviewer did, listen to the song and repeat, many times.
For more information on Heidi visit www.HeidiFeek.com