When a woman gets married, it is traditional for her to wear something borrowed, something blue, something old, and something new. It is a beginning, rooted in the past, looking to the future, but firmly in the present.
Robin Meade marries music, past and present, lyric and sound, on Count On Me, her second album on Mood Music Entertainment and it was produced by Victoria Shaw (who co-produced Lady Antebellum’s debut album). Robin’s first release, Brand New Day, came out two years ago. Interestingly, both albums were released in June, the most popular month to marry.
Currently, Robin is the news anchor on Morning Express on HLN (her first day on-air there was September 11, 2001). She authored a New York Times bestseller, Morning Sunshine! (How to Radiate Confidence and Feel It Too). Her journalism background serves her well in print and lyrics; she co-wrote seven of the eight original songs on the album. The album includes covers of Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors, Tom Petty’s I Won’t Back Down, Garth Brooks’ The Dance and The Pretender’s I’ll Stand By You.
“We all want to feel included, supported and accepted. There’s a universal need for a shared emotion, the feeling you’re being talked with, not to, and that we’re in this together. That’s the vibe musically, too. … I look at it as I’m writing about people and their experiences and my own experiences in a way I can convey to somebody else. You’re writing about loves and wins and losses, just like you are for a news story — but I’m doing it in a different form, a form that’s about 3 minutes, 30 seconds long and set to a melody and can move you emotionally.”
As I listened to the first song, Here For You (featuring The Blue Sky Riders (Kenny Loggins, Georgia Middleman and Gary Burr), I found myself sitting straight up in my chair. Robin pours her heart into the lyrics and her sincerity is real when she sings that she’ll catch your tears when things get too hard to handle. To have a friend so true, so comforting, to catch your tears, wow.
Just as you’re about to grab another Kleenex, the next song, Gonna Be Days, will bring a smirk to your face. I wish I could find that special someone, who accepts me so completely, that even though there will be times when all my best intentions drive him crazy, he doesn’t need, nor want, me to be perfect.
Bring back the tissues for Better Than Me. When you find yourself struggling to make it through the day, ready to quit, walk away, rather than keep on fighting, listen to this. It is a reflection on life, ironically beginning at a funeral. Deep inside all of us, we want our days here to count, to make a difference. In the song, the person realizes that, in order for that to happen, a lot has to change, from the inside out. It’s a constant struggle. Some days you’ll feel like you’ve been sucker-punched, but you can’t give up if you truly want to leave your mark on the world.
Slow It Up (with Keb’ Mo’) is a blues-infused tune about living life. Most of us get so busy we don’t always keep our priorities in order. Here we are reminded that we need to get to the ‘stop and smell the roses’ moments right now because the rest can wait – at least until the weekend is over. Another song, This Just In (a bit of a play on her ‘day’ job), says the heart just might be our best ‘news’ anchor when it comes to waking up our brain. Your Glory Days, co-written with Kristian Bush, is a tune about how we may stumble, but what goes around, can come back around. Patience is indeed a virtue. And, of course, we need to be thankful for the people around us. There’s You recognizes that. We all need help, support, and acceptance. Not to mention a reminder that it’s ok to ask for forgiveness and prayers.
Get Up, the album’s lead single, was co-written (and sung) with Lee Brice. When you find yourself with that empty box of Kleenex, a couch with an imprint of your body, a hairstyle that can only be described as ‘bedhead,’ you need to listen when your best friend tells you like it is, not like you want to hear. So (well this is probably obvious) you need to get up, and move on. This song may have come from a time when Robin dealt with anxiety and panic attacks that lead to a fear of public speaking that could have ended her news career. Now her songs are helping others overcome obstacles in their lives. I’m sure of that because that’s exactly what they are doing for me. Thank you Robin.