Album Spotlight: Jamie Lynn Spears, ‘The Journey’
KHAK welcomes Jamie Lynn Spears to Cedar Rapids on the 4th of July and her debut EP ‘The Journey’ has now been released. It includes some happy, some playful, a little sad and one big “Oh no she didn’t!” It’s tough to argue these five songs aren’t as personal as anything pressed in country music this year.
‘How Could I Want More’ tells the story of her love to current husband Jamie Watson, and is the standout track of the five. But it’s not a steep slope down to reach the next best. ‘Shotgun Wedding’ is just as personal.
“It ain’t cause mama didn’t raise me right / It 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,” she sings on this uptempo rocker.
Spears smiles when she says “It’s pretty self-explanatory what it’s about,” alluding to her quick engagement after becoming pregnant at 16 years old in 2007. Still, it’s surprising (and sort of awesome) to hear her go there.
‘Mandolin Summer Sun’ is a reprieve from the drama, and producer Corey Crowder’s arrangement helps carry the track. ‘Big Bad World’ closes ‘The Journey.’ The piano-driven ballad features Spears’ sharp lyricism:
“I dig out a dollar for the homeless man but I’m the one who could use the change,” she sings. It’s a perfect metaphor for the moment. The song provides a point of inspiration after a bit of a roller coaster ride of emotions. Throughout the EP the 23-year-old shows vocal and thematic range, making ‘The Journey’ a quick, but enjoyable listen.
Key Tracks: ‘Shotgun Wedding’ ‘How Could I Want More’
Ah-Ha!: Spears spent years writing and her sound changed over time. However when she first met with Corey Crowder, everything clicked. “He really heard the story behind my voice and he put the music around that,” she told ToC. “And I think the ‘ah-ha’ moment was the first time I sat down with him and he told me what he heard for these songs.”