Bomshel – “Just Fine”

Karlie Justus Marlowe | May 13th, 2010

bomshel-im-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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  1. [...] The 9513 calls it forgettable :  1-t0-10 Country says its "possibly their biggest bust yet" :  Roughstock doesn't even mention "Just Fine" in their review of the album [...]
  1. Drew
    May 13, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Yeah, real bad. And I didn’t mind their last two that much… but this one stinks.

  2. Thomas
    May 13, 2010 at 11:31 am

    …it’s extremly difficult to sound good as a song when “blah,blah,blah” is part of the lyrics.
    this is a case in point.

  3. Jon
    May 13, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Never heard “Old Blevins,” have you?

  4. Rick
    May 13, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Its too bad the Bomshel gals aren’t releasing better singles, assuming their album has some that is. I think they should re-work and mellow down some of the Buffy Lawson era songs as there was some interesting material there!

    Kelley has a really nice pop-rock country vocal style and Kristy is a fine fiddle player, but without good songs those attributes will get them nowhere at country radio. Songs like this will have them sinking away from country radio like a depth charge. Oh well…

  5. Adam
    May 13, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    I am completely in love with Kristy. Bomshel’s songs aren’t the greatest, but Kristy is a great fiddle player. Plus, Bomshel is fun to watch live.

  6. Razor X
    May 13, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Don’t we mean BOMSHEL?

  7. Chris N.
    May 13, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Clearly it’s supposed to be BOMSHEL.

  8. Nicolas
    May 13, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I haven’t listened to this song yet, but I quite liked “19 and Crazy” and “Fight Like a Girl” was alright

  9. Kim
    May 13, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I remember ’15 minutes of shame’. Just because of how lame it was.

  10. Steve Harvey
    May 13, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    I really can’t stand Bomshel. Mediocrity personified.

  11. Razor X
    May 13, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Good review, Karlie except for one typo:

    There’s no denying Bomshel is a scrappy team

    Clearly that should read:

    There’s no denying BOMHSEL is a crappy team.

    The song is pretty crappy as well.

  12. Razor X
    May 13, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    And speaking of typos, I just realized that I misspelled BOMSHEL.

  13. J.R. Journey
    May 13, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Did they not learn anything from SHeDAISY? Extra caps only makes me think there’s nothing interesting with the music, so the group has to make up for it by tweaking the band name. It’s definitely the most interesting talking point on this thread.

  14. J.R. Journey
    May 13, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    And didn’t Keith Urban try something similar when he first came out? But he went the other way, not capitalizing his first or last name: keith urban … Anybody else remember this?

  15. Nicolas
    May 13, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    The difference with SHeDAISY is they are actually good

  16. Michelle
    May 13, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Wow, 15 comments, I was beginning to get a little worried.

  17. Phil
    May 14, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Well at least Kristy Lee Cook’s song “15 Minutes Of Shame” allowed the listener to use their imagination. Provided the listener had one. This song doesn’t give the listener that option.

    I know Michelle said I lack imagination. I think it’s today’s listener and some of the reviews I read on this site that don’t even try to use any imagination. Probably because most of today’s music doesn’t allow people to use their imagination. Anyway, here was the review for “15 Minutes Of Shame” by Jim Malec. You’ll notice he and the rest of the commenters didn’t use their imagination, and he didn’t realize the song was about him the whole time (or maybe it was about me). I guess the first clue should have been the opening line of the song. Either way I enjoyed my 15 minutes of shame. LOL And you can read my comments and decide for yourself if I lack imagination Michelle. :)

    http://www.the9513.com/kristy-lee-cook-15-minutes-of-shame/

    Oh, and as far as this song goes…I’ll be “just fine” if I never hear it again. The artist gives me no reason to care either way, and doesn’t allow the listener into the song on his or her own terms.

  18. Phil
    May 14, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Oh yeah…and by the way, my critique of the song “15 Minutes Of Shame” was correct. If you watch the video, you’ll notice that the 15 minutes of shame are the three things that I mentioned back then (just as the video reveals). Which is what the song is about in the first place (what the 15 minutes of shame is/are). The video is divided into three segments. So the 15 minutes of shame are the three things I mentioned. 1. The act of shame (him cheating),2. Him then trying to cover up the act of shame (trying to turn the radio down, and then bashing in the TV set at the bar), and 3. the “dude” enjoying his 15 Minutes Of Shame literally (getting arrested and every girl in the world knowing his name). And the video came out well after I mentioned it. And don’t forget that Kristy says “shame” 3 times at the end of the song. :)

    Anyway, I only mention this because somebody told me I lack imagination. I’m sure most people didn’t even notice these things even when they watched the video. :)

  19. Michelle
    May 14, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Phil,

  20. Phil
    May 14, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Yes Michelle? Am I supposed to imagine what you were going to say? :) Anyway, I hope that you or nobody here took what I wrote the wrong way. I don’t have anything against anybody here personally. I love reading the reviews and everybody’s comments.

  21. Michelle
    May 14, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Phil, sorry, I had to down a couple first! I never told you,”You lack imagination.” I told you, “Maybe, you should try using it.” Anyway, the song’s okay, but I don’t think I would go as far as to call it, “Genius.” I’m glad you got to use your imagination for once, I mean, for a change. You did a real good job critiquing it!

  22. Michelle
    May 14, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Or was it, because she’s cute and held your attention long enough to use your imagination?

  23. Phil
    May 14, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Thanks Michelle. I actually didn’t notice it in the video at first either because I was too busy thinking what a moron “Jason” was. But then it becomes clear that she is focusing on the three separate 15 Minutes Of Shame when you notice she uses three different microphones, three different hairstyles, and three different change of clothes in the video. And it is genius if you ask me. She set Jason up from the start. And all the girls in the video were in on it. I can’t say I haven’t had the same thing happen to me…but it had nothing to do with me cheating. So I can definitely relate to the song, and have played the part of the “fool”. But I always end up blaming myself for getting myself involved in the situation to begin with. But like I said, at least the song made me think. That’s more than I can say for most of today’s music which is based more on a feeling to get to your thoughts, than a thought to get to your feelings. If I want the former, I’ll go to Church and listen to the choir sing. :)

  24. Michelle
    May 14, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    It’s odd that I’ve never seen the video or heard the song before. I don’t miss much. Guess I must’ve been under a rock at the time!

  25. Phil
    May 14, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Haha, well if I liked Kristy just because she was “cute” then I’d probably like practically every female artist today. Nope, it all has to do with her voice and style and the way she connects with a song and makes it believable and honest like the artist I enjoy from the past and grew up listening to, and then I noticed her personality. Which is what is lacking for me in today’s music world, and the music and artists being promoted today…the honesty and believability.

  26. Michelle
    May 14, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Wo is your favorite male country singer?

  27. Phil
    May 14, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    From today? Good question. Probably Gary Allan, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley and I like a few of Blake Shelton’s songs. But even over the past couple of years I’ve noticed they’re changing their musical style and songs to appease the same audience that Carrie and Taylor brought with them that Country Radio is focusing on.

  28. Michelle
    May 14, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Those are good ones! You’ve got some splainin to do, Phil. K has a point!

  29. Michelle
    May 14, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    Where is K’s comment? Seriously, I’m NOT drunk!!

  30. Phil
    May 14, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    I don’t see K’s comment either.

  31. Michelle
    May 14, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    Scroll up and look at the current discussions!

  32. Phil
    May 15, 2010 at 12:12 am

    Thanks…I replied in the other thread. :)

  33. Joey
    May 18, 2010 at 9:38 am

    This song is okay, but I wish they had released Fiddle. That is my favorite song of their’s.

  34. Wade
    May 18, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Im with Joey, “Fiddle” is a great song. Ilike bomshel, but their single choices have been dismal.

  35. BRIAN
    May 19, 2010 at 1:54 am

    I think this single will translate to radio and what is being played on it right now “Just Fine”. I do know that BOMSHEL put on one helluva live show!

  36. Aimee
    July 19, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Wow obviously the person who wrote this article has probably never been to a Bomshel show. They are amazing!! They are both so talented and are super nice girls. And the fact that the person who wrote this is talking crap about them and their music is crazy! From what i can tell whoever wrote this is not a very good writer, i realize that it’s your job to critique songs and give your opinion, but its not a very good one. I dont think your a song writer or singer, so i dont think you should be giving Kelley advice on how to sing, she has an amazing voice! I think you should go to a Bomshel show and then write a review, you will certainly write a better one, because you will see how amazing and talented they are.

  37. Chris N.
    July 19, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Dammit, that’s BOMSHEL.

  38. Regina George
    September 2, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Soo this song is, dare I say it.. fun. I think this might be their first real top something hit (I’m not sure how well the others did) with their slow but subtle progression of recent hits, kind of.. someone on the radio might actually recognize them and give it a few more spins.
    This song is upbeat and all girl power and I can totally see mom’s and daughters rocking out to it in their car or 15 year old girls posting it all over their facebook status’. “Don’t you worry your pretty little head about me, I’ll be just fine”
    The video is a little much.. but I’m sure the “bombsquad” will eat it up, that and anyone else who chooses to ignore their slight awkwardness.
    I dont love the lyrics, but i think it’s catchy and as long as their not playing that new stupid Darius song, I’m down with it.

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