Maybe that is the problem with Nashville these days. Even when it purports to be producing low budget, live in the studio music, it just comes out shiny. This is indeed the case with Elizabeth Cook's album "Balls. All credit to her as she sound as polished as any major artist but maybe that is part of the problem. This album is just too clean.
Ms Cook writes the majority of the songs on this album and good, commercial songs they are too. The opening track "Times are Tough in Rock 'N' Roll" is a jaunty and humorous start to the album even managing to get in a dig at trailer trash goddess Britney Spears. The "… give the lady a chord please" intro to "Don't Go Borrowing Trouble" also raised a smile. Then she goes all Shania with "Sometimes It Takes Balls to be a Woman". Now this sounds like an almost perfect pastiche (or at least we hope that it is a pastiche). "Rest Your Weary Mind" and "Mama's Prayers" are about as traditional country as you can get. Thoughts of Nancy Sinatra's country music efforts came into our mind as we listened to "What Do I Do" and even the playful "Gonna Be". Best track to our ears was the up-tempo "He Got No Heart" when Ms Cook comes over all sassy like the strong woman we want her to be.
This album is an enjoyable enough listen but it comes across as more of an advertisement of availability to a major record company (or rather its accountants). Just a little bit different from what they sell but not too much. It's all kind of safe. There is nothing wrong with commercial ambition of course but her song writing does suggest that there is some fire in her belly just waiting for the right musical opportunity. Bluesbunny certainly hopes this is the case.