Thank you Jennifer Nettles for making me laugh, cry, feel empowered and feel like dancing.
“Playing With Fire” released on May 13 and right from the opening title track, I was all in. It’s a song about letting loose, “Well, I’m tired of being perfect … I’ve had my fill of actin’ like I should …” I’ve been, you’ve been there.
Nettles co-wrote 10 of the 12 tracks with songwriters including Brandy Clark, Bill Sherman, Jesse Jo Dillon, Shane McAnally, Lori McKenna, Jennifer Lopez, Julio Reyes Copello and Josh Osborne.
Songs of heartache (“Unlove You”) and kicking heartache out the door (“Hey Heartbreak”), of escape (“Three Days in Bed” by Holly Williams), new beginnings (“Starting Over”) and what unites us as people no matter where we live (“My House”).
She delivers with passion, sass and reality.
“Hey Heartbreak” — what starts as a low-key kick in the pants for a heartbreak (“Hey sleepless, my eyes are red, why don’t you get out of my bed”) to turn in the key and move on and out as she breaks up with heartbreak.
“Drunk in Heels” — This is one of those songs (Nettles, Clark) that not just anyone can sing and definitely not the way Nettles delivers it. Lots of touché lines about being a woman vs. being a man.
“Salvation Works” — The key line here (Nettles, Clark, McKenna) is “Every diner has a future and every saint has a past.”
“My House” — “Mi casa es tu casa,” Lopez sings as she joins Nettles on this song that dwells on the fact that we all have the same worries and concerns regardless of where we are from, whether your are “Jenny from the dirt road” or “Jenny from the block,” we’re really not that different.
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars