I do not think anyone in Nashville will see this album coming.
Read this: This is the best female artist album I have heard out of Nashville in a long time.
For starters, the album is a a good ALBUM. Almost all of her previous releases lacked depth (ironically, I Hope You Dance was the most guilty of that) and theme. While I personally felt that Something Worth Leaving Behind was a really good album, it couldn't seem to make up its mind if it wanted to be a pop crossover or not (a problem that Faith Hill had until Cry, which finally made up its mind to be pop-and did it well).
Instead, There's More sets out to be a well crafted contemporary country album laced with heavy traditional themes and sticks to it. To top it off, the song selection is outstanding.
The brightest spots all around are Stubborn, Painless, I May Hate Myself in the Morning, When You Get to Me, and The Last Time (what I call a lyrical portrait-you can actually picture the locations in the song much like Chesneys Anything But Mine and McGraws Goodbye finale on Set This Circus Down). These five, particularly the first two, stand out for their combination of outstanding lyrics and musical arrangement.
All the other tracks excel in various ways.
Ones A Couple is a potential second single and pays its due with its wry humorous undertone and hook laden chorus.
Tracks 5, 6, 7 are curious in their placement on the CD. He Oughta Know That By Now and Twenty Years (which Womack co-writes) explore divorce and the end of relationships with a husband and are followed up on the back end by Happiness. All three are well performed songs that tug at the heart strings.
The rest of the songs do not really stand out on their own, but put together as a package with the others they excel and are pleasant and well crafted.
This album has the potential to really revitalize Womacks career and while I have my doubts if it will due to the purchasing habits of today's country audience (while it appears from early responses to I May Hate Myself in the Morning and a decent sales pace that the album will sell, it will take a few top ten singles off this CD to save her career), it shows what she is capable of when she sticks to her gifts: a country tinged voice with sugary overtones and the ability to communicate the emotion of well written country music.
Here's looking at you Lee Ann, for having the guts to do this type of album and do it well. Country music needs you and it would be a shame if this album was ignored-its a top ten album this year no matter what else comes out in the next 10 months.