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Here for the Party

An album by Gretchen Wilson

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Initially, I Hated This Stuff

  • Apr 4, 2005
When "Redneck Woman" burst onto the scene, full of noise and pop, I thought to myself, "Here we go again. Nashville attempts to reignite the fire started by Garth over a decade ago." "Redneck Woman" and "Here For The Party" have plastic, radio-ready written all over them. Naturally, these songs took off with the masses and Ms. Wilson was instantly an "outlaw" performer. It made me sick. I thought we were going to have to sit through more fabricated fluff.

Fortunately, Wilson put out "When I Think About Cheatin'" and showed me that she just wasn't around to make a quick buck. She really did know a little about the roots of country. When "Homewrecker" was released, she convinced me that there was more to her than a bunch of "redneck" phrases and "tough girl" imagery. She convinced me to buy her album and see just what the heck was going on with her.

I was surprised at how songs like "What Happened" and even "Chariot" were solidly grounded in the good stuff that makes up real country. The real kicker here was "When It Rains." That song has old school honky-tonk written all over it. It's the best song on the album in my opinion. Running a close second is "When I Think About Cheatin'." Ironically, my least favorite songs on this disc are the aforementioned "Here For The Party" and "Redneck Woman." They are just too commercial sounding for my tastes.

Give Ms. Wilson her due, she can hang with the best of them when it comes to neo-traditional music. She sounds a heck of a lot more "country" than Rascal Flatts, Kenny Buffett,er, I mean, Chesney, Mrs. Faith Hill, Mr. Faith Hill, Shania, etc. ever thought they could AND she looks like she could outlast all of 'em in a barfight.

Anyway, look beyond the obvious country plastic and you just might find a decent album that actually deserves it's country genre identification.

Recommended to folks who like Hank, Jr., Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt and popsters like Sheryl Crow.

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More Here for the Party reviews
review by . February 19, 2005
Pros: Slickly produced, music, some lyrics.      Cons: GretchenÂ’s voice is not quite ready for prime time.     The Bottom Line: Final analysis: the mixture of good and bad tracks on Here For The Party makes a firm recommendation problematic.      In recalling the Grammy Award winners over the last several years, I have often wondered how exactly they (the committee) choose the winners. I mean, what is the criterion, what is the standard, …
review by . January 01, 2005
Pros: Nice mix, good vocals, good music     Cons: >>>>>>>>     The Bottom Line: Thanks Gretchen for realizing we aren't all Barbie dolls     There are lots of things you can say about this chick and most of them would be good. Sure she’s nasty, gritty, and just a tad bit bad - and that’s wrong??? I don’t think so. She can belt out a song, and put out some pretty sweet videos too, she’s loud and in …
review by . May 26, 2004
posted in Music Matters
I am not a fan of country music. It's just something I really haven't enjoyed listening to in the past. Every once in awhile I hear a country tune that I enjoy, but for the most part I don't like listening to that style of music. However, I grew up not too far from Pocahontas, Illinois and "Here For the Party" is one of the biggest things to happen in my old stomping grounds in a long time. So, I decided I would both support the local girl done good and find out what all the fuss is about. I was …
About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #17
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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Her mother was 16 when she had her, and her father moved on when she was two. By the age of 15, with a double-barrel shotgun always at the ready, she was managing a kicker bar in rural Illinois where the corn fields meet the pig farms. That gave Gretchen Wilson something to sing about, with attitude in spades. "You might think I'm trashy, a little too hardcore," she admits on the smash single "Redneck Woman," "but in my neck of the woods I'm just the girl next door." Wilson, already the toast of Nashville before this full-length debut hit the shelves, isn't just putting the trailer park back into country music--she's the antidote toShaniaandFaith. Nothing here sounds manufactured or studied, and the best songs are those she wrote. If most of those spotlight the fightin' side that has made "Redneck Woman" an anthem with blue-collar babes, she lets her vulnerability show on her choice of covers, particularly Leslie Satcher's gospel-rap of "Chariot" and the marital weeper "The Bed." Whatever you think of Wilson, who packs a hint ofSammi SmithandAllison Moorer--and evenJanis Joplin--into her double-fisted delivery, you won't forget her. Move over,Loretta. Make way,Tanya. Here's another good ol' honky-tonk girl.--Alanna Nash
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Label: Sony
Artist: Gretchen Wilson
Release Date: May 11, 2004

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