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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Mindy Smith

The Essential Mindy Smith

Review by Mark Johnson

Mindy Smith burst onto the music scene in 2003, as one of the only new artists featured on a Dolly Parton tribute album Just Because I’m a Woman. Her rendition of ‘Jolene”’ was one of the highlights off the tribute, which also included famous singer/songwriters Emmylou Harris and Melissa Etheridge.

This album includes thirteen of Smith’s best songs off her three Vanguard Records studio albums: One Moment More, Long Island Shores and Stupid Love. “The Essential” serves as the perfect introduction to this singer/songwriter’s extremely soft but beautiful vocal and songwriting talents.There are no extras or fillers on this album. Every song is a highlight, but my favorites include: “Come to Jesus,” “Jolene,” and of course Smith’s rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Little Lies.”

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Come to Jesus

This is the perfect opener, highlighting Smith’s immaculate voice full of splendor.

Out Loud
Here is a slow opening and quiet, reflective song full of wonder and thoughtfulness. A beautiful country twinge to the sound adds sincerity to the emotions of the sound.
It’s Amazing
“It’s Amazing” is another quiet contemplative track full of bright emotional vocals from Smith.
Highs and Lows
There is a Celtic folk sound to the beginning before Smith takes over and fills the corridors of sound with happy lyrics and vocals sounds. She gets excellent support from the band.
Please Stay
This is a powerful cut. Deep sounding guitar, soft drum and keys triumph. Smith’s vocals drive home the emotions with the serious nature of the lyrics.
Jolene
“Jolene” is sung almost better than Parton’s original. No wonder this was a highlight off the Parton tribute album. It was a powerful song, but Smith’s vocals and that electric guitar take it even further over the edge.
Hard to Know
On this cut there is a different, rockier and harder edge to her sound.
Tennessee
Here is a beautiful song about the state she loves so much.
Love Lost
“Love Lost” is a heartfelt song full of emotional lyrics and Smith’s soft elegant vocals.
Little Lies

The Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks classic, Smith does an excellent job covering the track. She adds additional warmth and emotion with her solid vocals.

Fighting for It All
This is another heartfelt treasure from Smith.
Peace of Mind
“Peace of Mind” is a very deep, well-written song about finding peace amongst difficult times and troubles. It is very powerful.
One Moment More

This is another very deep, emotional song of loss. It is a real tear-jerker which closes this best of album with epic proportions.

 
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