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Danielle Bradbery

Danielle Bradberry – 2013 (Big Machine)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Danielle Bradbery

Danielle Bradbery has a leg up on the competition because she won season four of The Voice at the tender age of 17. She also has producer Dann Huff in her corner on her debut release. And that means - no surprise whatsoever - that Bradbery opts very decidedly for a pop, highly commercial sheen on her brand of what passes for country these days.

Yes, there is an occasional mandolin (at the get go of the lead-off Young in America, and Talk About Love) or similar instrumentation, but the emphasis is pointedly on the pop side (and later in the song, Talk About Love clearly rocks). The Texan has a nice enough voice, and fortunately for Bradbery, the vocals are mixed well by Huff, leaving her voice far above the musical fray. Good thing because she gives enough color to the lyrics to up the believability quotient.

However, ultimately Bradbery falls short. There is a predictability to the songs (none of which she wrote) and style. Bradbery fails to distinguish herself from others covering the same style. Carrie Underwood is an obvious vocal linchpin on a bunch of songs including Never Like This, the mandolin spiced The Heart of Dixie, about a strong woman taking control of her life, I Will Never Forget You and the closing My Day. Bradbery also displays good vocal skills on the slower paced, less pop sounding Daughter of a Working Man, the best among the 11 here. Interestingly, though, the latter focuses on knowing where one is from, while Young in America focuses on breaking away from one's roots.

Bradbery may have sturdy vocal chops at her tender age, but that alone does not make her stand out from the pack. She has a good role model in Underwood, but one is enough.