The Story of My Life
First Appeared in The Music Box, June 2005, Volume 12, #6
Written by T.J. Simon
Nashville native Deana Carter’s 1996 debut Did I Shave My Legs For This? catapulted the plucky songstress into the mainstream, country music limelight with an unexpected hit record. Yet, despite critical praise, her string of follow-up albums failed to reach the commercially successful heights of her rookie year. Her latest release The Story of My Life finds Carter shoring up her songwriting on a collection of 11 gratifying originals. The disc opens with The Girl You Left Me For, a jaunty pop number that uncannily channels Sheryl Crow at her most fun. Crow’s influence also pokes through on the genial She’s No Good for You. Elsewhere, One Day at a Time mentions Thelma & Louise, Elvis Presley, James Dean, and Kurt Cobain, even as it drives towards a radio-friendly, country-infused direction; Katie is a beautiful, acoustic character study that recalls Kelly Willis; and Carter’s fluttering, songbird voice channels Nancy Griffith on Atlanta & Birmingham.
However, not every track on The Story of My Life is a winner. Ordinary is fairly dull and lacks innovation, while Not Another Love Song is just plain bland. On the other hand, the musical arrangement behind Getting Over You is worth the price of admission unto itself. In the end, Carter’s tendency to occupy the no-man’s land between mainstream country, radio pop, and coffeehouse singer-songwriter folk won’t garner her any favors from FM radio programmers, but her difficult-to-pigeonhole nature generally serves her well on The Story of My Life and makes it a rather satisfying endeavor. ½
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2005 The Music Box