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Jaida Dreyer

I am Jaida Dreyer – 2013 (Streamsound)

Reviewed by Dustin Blumhagen

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CDs by Jaida Dreyer

Jaida Dreyer created an album of radio friendly songs from a female vocalist who sounds like she is trying too hard to be Lorrie Morgan. The album sounds like it was recorded back in the '90s, with pop songs like Put Your Boots Back On that are reminiscent of Deana Carter. That isn't to say that the album is bad. Dreyer has a twang in her voice that has been missing from the charts for quite a while. This is about as far from Taylor Swift as you can get while still being marketed as a blond-haired pop country artist.

Sugarland's Kristian Bush makes an appearance on The Boy Who Cried Love, which is a throwaway mid-tempo ballad. For the most part, Dreyer's voice is poorly matched with the songs she has written. The warble and twang could have been used to her advantage, but instead they clash awkwardly with the more pop tendencies that dominate.

When she manages to match her voice to the song, it works very well. It just doesn't happen very often. Lead single Half Broke Horses is a great emotional track. The Dobro in Cocaine adds a little bit of blues, which complements her rough voice well. The stand out track, South of the Sun, is an easy going danceable number with plenty of mandolin and Dobro.

At her best, Dreyer is vaguely reminiscent of Ashton Shepherd or Sunny Sweeney, but for the most part she channels artists from a bygone era. It sounds like something producer Byron Gallimore would have released 20 years ago.