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Kellie Pickler

The Woman I Am – 2013 (Black River)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Kellie Pickler

High quality music found on Kellie Pickler's "The Woman I Am" evidences how the country singer's last album, "100 Proof," was no fluke. The title track, which Pickler co-wrote with husband Kyle Jacobs, explains how this woman will always have a whole lot of traditional country in her blood. "Sometimes I cry at night/Fall to pieces with Patsy Cline."

Many of this 12-song album's best material are also ones Pickler helped pen. They include the bluegrass-y Selma Drye, about Pickler's wild great-grandmother, and the historic couple comparison of Bonnie and Clyde. Although not everything is straight country, everything at least has traditional instrumental elements. Pickler has a little upbeat fun with Buzzin', then digs into the weeper I Forgive You. The rousing No Cure For Crazy sounds like something Miranda Lambert would sing, as well as a lyric fitting for her personality. Little Bit Gypsy just about sums up the craziness of a touring musician's life.

The best song - on an album with plenty of winners to brag on - may be Tough All Over. Written by Gary Nicholson and Leslie Satcher, it addresses tough times in our world. However, it points to love as the antidote, and not in an overly saccharine manner. "Things are tough all over," its chorus admits. It then adds, "But it's a tender world in your arms tonight." With just a few words, Pickler reveals the cure for worldly pain. It was the cure back in Patsy Cline's heyday, and the cure-all for a modern girl like Kellie Pickler today.