Carly Pearce - “29: Written in Stone” Album Review
Carly Pearce pours her heart out in this album, coping with a close friends’ death and divorce, and “29: Written in Stone” reflects her pain.
In 2019, Pearce’s producer Busbee died due to brain cancer. In 2020, Pearce and her husband, country star Michael Ray, got married and filed for divorce in that same year. The number 29 was her age when these events happened.
While writing this album with the push of these events, this Kentucky country singer took 15 months to finalize her album. Right after her single, “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” featuring Lee Brice, that topped as high as fifth on Billboard, Pearce began writing her newest album, “29: Written in Stone.”
This year has already given country listeners two heartbreak albums from female artists. Kacey Musgraves with “star-crossed” was first released on Sept. 10 and Pearce’s came out Sept. 17. Both albums have the old traditional country sound. Fiddles, steel guitars and the blues harp make great features throughout both, but especially in “29: Written in Stone.”
The first song on Pearce’s album is “Diamondback.” Before listening, the first thought may be of a diamondback snake. However, in the song, Pearce references the diamond as an actual stone and “back,” meaning giving it back.
That is a good play on words, but a snake is not said in the entire song. It would have been great if she sang about both. By the end, listeners are left with a good piece but left with more from it. Sadly, they are not given what they want.
The next song that deserves recognition is “Easy Going.” This is her “breakup and get back at you” type song.
Pearce says how easy it is to move on from her ex. It is a pretty good song. The fall is, after singing some great lyrics, no one wants to hear a two-minute lead out of just instrumentals.
“Dear Miss Loretta” follows “Easy Going.” This song got its debut when Pearce performed it live at the Grand Ole Opry. This is the reference to Pearce’s country hero, Loretta Lynn.
One lyric in the song says, “I ain’t a coal miner’s daughter, but my grandmother was.” This is true. Pearce’s grandmother’s father was a miner and died in the mines while working.
The music in this is pronominal. The beginning guitar picks to bring out the country. With that, it has every detail a country song needs to thrive, fiddle, harmonica and a great vocalist. “Dear Miss Loretta” has the potential to meet the charts.
“Next Girl” is the album’s carrier. Pearce released this single before the album. It did well on the radio, reaching as high as seventeenth on Billboard.
After that, the songs begin to struggle. “29,” “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” featuring Ashley McBryde and “Liability” are the only memorable songs. If Pearce had perfected the rest of the album as she did the others, “29: Written in Stone” could do numbers.
Unfortunately, the end of the album falls, which is disappointing for such a vital half.
Overall, the album started solid and had great lyrics and music, then it plummeted. Hopefully, Pearce redeems soon.
Reviewer’s Favorite Song: “Dear Miss Loretta” and “Next Girl”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: “Easy Going”
Cade Miller is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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Second-Year / Broadcast Journalism