Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz
In March, Angela Hacker won this year's edition of Nashville Star. Not too many weeks later, the label pushed this 10-song disc into the marketplace, and does it ever sound rushed and lacking any sense of energy and heart.
In an album filled with well-known covers, tackling Deana Carter's hit "Strawberry Wine" wasn't a good choice. Hacker's performance adds nothing to the song, and the phrasing is a bit off as well. The playing is downright dull and without any sense of feeling that the original conveys. "I Can't Make You Love Me" doesn't find Hacker faring much better. The soulful feel of Bonnie Raitt's hit "I Can't Make You Love Me" is sorely missing - she glides through the song with no sense of loss, and once again the playing sounds very very rote and boring.
The effect is that the Alabama native sounds more like a covers artist than a singer making any musical statement. Brother Zac, also of Nashville Star fame, far outsings sis on Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle." Funny, but Hacker sounds stronger on her own songs, including 'Emotionless."
Winning Nashville Star hasn't exactly been all that much of a blessing so far to the other winners, and based on these 10 songs, it doesn't seem that Hacker will fare any different. Hacker may have won Nashville Star, but this album is not a winner.