I have no investment in country music, so whether or not a particular album indicates “a star is born” is irrelevant to me. Perhaps if there was something truly distinct, I might notice but I don’t know that Yearwood’s from Georgia and, having heard numerous singers from many different genres, I’m not sure why Yearwood’s voice (which is excellent) stands out so much among so many other female country singers. (If I was a connoisseur of late ’80s/early ’90s country music, I’d likely have an opinion. But I really don’t like this stuff.)
Like most country pop – all? – the songs are catchy. They are catchier than country songs used to be, as one of the things that had happened is the incorporation of more strictly “pop” melody. (I also here some blues, which is pretty common in country.)
Of course, one of the main things that indicate these are “country” songs are the lyrics, which focus on typical country topics. As I have pointed out many times with this kind of country music, this kind of earnestness would feel pretty weird in another musical context. There’s something about country that allows for these lyrics that many other genres don’t really.
Like so much country pop, it’s not always entirely clear that this is country music if you would remove the fiddles and steel guitars. Yearwood certainly doesn’t have that vocal twang that so often identifies it as country. But there’s enough aesthetically to make it clear it’s country. It’s not quite as crossover as something like Alabama and it’s certainly a far cry from where Shania was about to go.
Like so much Nashville music from the era (and so many other eras), it’s a slick product. Everything is extremely professional and Yearwood does not appear to be the kind of singer who is going to take the music into grittier territory on her own.
Very much not for me. But her hair is fantastic.