MALLARY HOPE SINGLE REVIEW-9513.COM
Karlie Justus | March 25th, 2010 Email Share
Songwriters: Mallary Hope, Joseph Doyle and Jon Henderson
In the shadows of current darlings Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood – and, of course, resurgent queen Reba McEntire – the bandwidth for new female country artists of late has proven extremely narrow. While recent debut efforts from Justin Moore and Easton Corbin have raced up the charts, women such as newcomer Mallary Hope struggle to make an impact.
In fact, the singer probably received more attention for a YouTube duet with Taylor Swift, where the pair performed a karaoke version of Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead” at a Nashville Christmas party, than her July 2009 radio debut “Love Lives On.” Though the video’s audio is shoddy, Hope emerges as the dynamic powerhouse voice to Swift’s pantomiming and slinky dance moves – an advantage that bears little weight in the genre’s current climate.
Despite these challenges, Hope makes a valiant second effort with new single “Blossom in the Dust.” From its starting verse, the MCA Nashville artist sets a lifelike scene by contrasting her protagonist’s shoddy upbringing with her hopeful, spring-like name: “There’s a single-wide trailer past the railroad tracks/Old car in the front, weeds in the back/Mama had her there when she was sixteen years old/Took one look at her and named her Rose.”
Unfortunately, however, comparisons to Martina McBride – which are warranted, as both can hit extended high notes and employ a patented girlfriend-to-girlfriend, conversational tone – also apply to their shared affinity for heavy-handed songs that ascribe to the frying pan to the head school of thought: Lyrics such as “Oh, sometimes the only way to overcome a circumstance/Is someone giving someone else a fighting chance” sag under their own weight, a contrast to the song’s upbeat, radio-friendly production.
While the flower metaphor doesn’t quite reach the heights of similarly themed songs such as Waylon Jennings’ (and, more recently, Willie Nelson and Chris Young) “Rose In Paradise,” Hope manages to elevate what could have been just a run-of-the-mill Girl Power tune with nice details that support its feel-good empowerment. If the brunette is meant to break through the genre’s current crop of blondes, “Blossom on the Dust” may be a seed in the right direction.