Hailey Whitters has reissued her "The Dream" album as "Living The Dream" with five bonus collaboration songs. With these added treats, it makes a good album even better.
The weakest of the new additions is "Fillin' My Cup" with Little Big Town. LBT is gaining a reputation as a drinking song group, when that vocal act's best songs go so much deeper than merely celebrating adult beverages. "How to Break a Heart," which features fellow A-level songwriters Lori McKenna and Hillary Lindsey, by applying plenty of lovely steel guitar, is much better. The organ-colored and soulful "Glad To Be Here" with the fine singer Brent Cobb is also a winner. Furthermore, it's always a pleasure to hear Trisha Yearwood, who duets with Whitters on "How Far Can It Go." Lastly, "The Ride," featuring Jordan Davis," is an enjoyably wistful musical trip.
Let's not forget the original album's standouts, including "10 Year Town," which smartly explores the trials and tribulations of 'making it' in Nashville. Whitters co-wrote "Happy People" with McKenna, and this album includes her singing of the song. Whitters' version of Chris Stapleton's "Devil Always Made Me Think Twice," just might be the definitive version of this moral struggle song. Her vocal brings out all the weariness in this battle.
It's easy to see the irony in Whitters calling her album "Living The Dream." She sings almost everything on it with a tangible hurt in her voice. She sure doesn't sound like Cyndi Lauper, as some girl that just wants to have fun. However, like her friend Lori McKenna, Whitters knows how to fill her songs with a bevy of truth, which is a dream come true for country music fans.