Style: Americana singer-songwriter; compare to Emmylou Harris, Wailin Jennys, Lisa Marie Presley
Top tracks: "Closer," "Pretending the Stars," "If I"
Mindy Smith's fifth album delivers nicely varied Americana pop with an old-school country core—complete with heartbreak, betrayal, and drinking your sorrows away. Smith's crystalline vocal sweetness voice soars on hopeful anthems ("Closer") and poignant ballads ("Devils Inside," "If I"). It lacks a bit of edge on bluesy wailings but carries an everywoman vulnerability. You almost want to hug her when she snarls/slurs "Don't comfort me / I'm drinking and I'm angry" ("Don't Mind Me"). Smith's spirituality carries the same kind of honest grit. Jesus may forgive a murderous ex-lover, but that doesn't erase the wake of human pain ("When You're Walking on My Grave"). Overall, the album embraces our need for redemption.1