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Jamie McDell - Album Review: Extraordinary Girl

27 May 2018 // A review by jacquiew

Extraordinary Girl by Jamie McDell is a commercial, catchy, and high-quality contemporary country offering.

McDell has an appealing voice and the subject matter of the album traverses love and loss using some familiar country music tropes and images - trailers, cars, fishing, tattoos etc... but it's never cliched. McDell captures the small but poignant details of life lived within narrow confines but influenced by “small town daydreams” of more. The ordinary becomes extraordinary in McDell's hands.

What interests me most about the album is the intelligence of the writing and the hints of even greater lyrical depths to come as life continues to give its gifts of experience. Running Now, for example, is strong and gritty. Under the Bonnet is another highlight. It’s a clever, relatable, strong and firmly country track and the chorus gets you singing. Turn it up loud on your next road trip - it’s ideal for 100km.

This album stayed in the player for days as we listened to it on repeat. It’s a toe tapper in places and very reflective in others. Extraordinary Girl has a deep pathos and is one of the more sombre songs on the album – an unusual yet beautiful choice for the title track. It features understated vocals from McDell and lovely guitar touches from Jedd Hughes. Slow Dream Boat is a truly languid number, delightful in its pace and featuring gorgeous singing from McDell and backing vocalist (unfortunately not credited in the liner notes I have with the review CD).

3AM is a great track and reminded me of the Dixie Chicks – I could imagine it as a hit song being performed in a big stadium – a real singalong number.

Extraordinary Girl is McDell’s second independent release and it’s a fantastic example of a well-crafted country album. It deserves to be a hit record and I hope fans here and overseas embrace it and lift it up the charts where it belongs.

★★★★★ (5 stars)


Review written by Jacquie Walters

 

About Jamie McDell

Jamie McDell was brought up in a musical family and started writing songs from a young age. Winner of Best Pop Album at the 2013 New Zealand Music Awards.

"If you were going to put money on Kiwi music's "next big thing", Jamie McDell is your best bet... her homemade videos have turned her into a YouTube sensation, leaving industry heavyweights predicting global success for the beach-loving girl from Mangawhai." - View, The Sunday Star Times.

"Jamie Mcdell's cover [of One Direction's 'One Thing'] reminds us of Jewel. And that's a good thing!" - Perez Hilton

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Jamie McDell

Releases

Extraordinary Girl
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Ask Me Anything
Year: 2015
Type: Album
All That I Wanted
Year: 2012
Type: EP
Six Strings And A Sailboat
Year: 2012
Type: Album

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