Bomshel – “Just Fine”
If a feel-good, triumphant song that combines a catchy bumper sticker phrase, cancer and girl power fails to crack mainstream country radio’s top 25 singles, it’s safe to say a follow-up riddled with gimmicky production choices, kiss-off imagery and an all but non-existent storyline has no chance in (Bombs)hel.
Unfortunately, “Just Fine,” the duo’s new single off October 2009 record Fight Like a Girl, is all of the latter and more. Between a chorus completely clogged with generic clichés and verses such as “You need some time/You need some space/And I deserve much more/You say you change, when we’re in a different place,” the song’s only redeeming qualities come from Bombshel’s sonic spunk.
After an intriguing opening fiddle riff–which echoes Alan Jackson’s “Hard Hat and a Hammer” (courtesy of original member Kristy Osmunson)–morphs into a jamming duet with an electric guitar, lead singer Kelley Shepard attempts to muster up a gritty performance with not-so-subtle touches of sass and sarcasm.
Shepard delivers the track’s vocals in a style reminiscent of Mindy McCready circa 1996. Like McCready, she pulls off a special mixture of sweet and salty that is one part power note, one part growl. It’s a strong combination that finds Shepard determined to wring out any possible trace of emotion from the song’s tepid lyrics.
Despite its semi-redeeming sound, however, “Just Fine” often resorts to production stunts such as random insertions from Osmunson, superfluous background echoes and an odd male voice that chimes in when Shepard huffs ”Blah, blah, blah.”
There’s no denying Bomshel is a scrappy team: After losing former lead singer Buffy Lawson, watching Joey + Rory ride the “Cheater, Cheater” wave on CMT’s Can You Duet and flailing on country radio, it’s a wonder Shepard and Osmunson are still standing together.
Unfortunately, “Just Fine” does nothing to move the pair forward; instead, the single remains in the same forgettable vein of dismissals such as Maren Morris’ “Goodbye” and Kristy Lee Cook’s “15 Minutes of Shame.” (Remember those songs? Exactly.) In the end, driving fiddle riffs offer up the only hints of urgency in the tune, as there’s certainly none left over on behalf of listeners to garner second spins.
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