Review by Mike O’Cull, independent music journalist. www.mikeocull.com
Ella Reid is an emerging country singer/songwriter with a strong and individual style. Based in Austin, Texas, Reid has developed a Country/Pop/Glam sound that is commercial, catchy, and ready for the radio but still appeals to fans of actual country music, not the watered-down rock that passes for it these days. Her latest release is Big Girl Pants and the set is a powerful statement from an artist with the capacity to very well be known someday soon by a single name, like Dolly, Loretta, and Emmylou. Reid has mastered the art of modern country pop the way Dolly Parton did in the 1970s. Like Parton, Reid writes and sings material with huge pop crossover potential that is still fully country and brings in that devoted audience.
Reid is sassy, brassy, and an excellent singer but her songs are what make the magic happen on Big Girl Pants. Tracks like “Suck It Up, Buttercup” and “Feelin’ Lucky” do fine work tapping into a modern person’s mindset and turning personal experiences into universal truths with which anyone can relate. Oh, and they are as tuneful as the day is long, too, and will most likely earworm you on your first listen.
Reid’s sound has all the slickness and sweetness required to hit the big time but still shuffles and twangs like a Texas Saturday night. Her genius is in that balance. She isn’t giving an Alt-Country history lesson or veering off into synths and rock guitar like many current acts have done. She is writing real country music with a modern sensibility. Her lyrics convey true emotions and stories, not lists of redneck affectations and talking points, and her grooves will move any crowd anywhere anytime. Nashville cats, pay attention: this is how it’s done.