Emily West Featuring Keith Urban – “Blue Sky”

Sam Gazdziak | January 12th, 2010

emily-west-blue-skySongwriters: Gary Burr and Emily West.

Thank goodness that there are men out there who never appreciate their women until they’re gone, or else we’d be in a severe country song shortage. Yes, country music may continue to change and evolve, but as long as men screw up, singers and songwriters in Nashville will stay gainfully employed.

When these sorry SOBs come back to their women begging for a second chance, the popular solution is to have them get blown off with sass and spunk (and occasional property damage). “Blue Sky,” the new single from Emily West, is a more somber affair, with the hurt on both sides too fresh to laugh away with a cute turn of phrase.

West doesn’t hide her own sadness while confronting the man who wants back into her life. “Wipe off those sad eyes,” she sings, “‘Cause I’ve got some tears of my own.” While the guy in question doesn’t sound like that big of a prize anyway (“Come on show me your temper/Be the man I remember” she sings at one point), West sounds more filled with resignation then relief as she pushes him away.

West turns in a gorgeous performance on “Blue Sky,” hitting notes few of her contemporaries can reach. She does it without throwing in any unnecessary or showy histrionics, either. If vocals actually mattered when determining which songs would become hits, West would have more than one charting single to her name.

As for the “ft. Keith Urban” part of the song, Urban is doing what used to be called “singing background vocals.” He does sing some nice harmonies with West on the chorus, but it’s hardly deserving of being called out as if it’s a proper duet. Still, if it takes the inclusion of Urban’s name to get some program directors to check the song out, more power to the marketing trickery.

Thumbs Up

  1. Shannon
    January 12, 2010 at 9:50 am

    very chilling performance. her emotion sells the song.

  2. Stephanie Rehder
    January 12, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Really good stuff, I’ll have to look into her more.

  3. Dan Milliken
    January 12, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Very nice review. The package of this song is a little too big and drippy for me, and I’ve never liked that “weatherman” metaphor at all. But I do like it well enough overall, and think Urban’s harmony adds something.

  4. Rick
    January 12, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I consider the original Keith-less version of this song to be one of the finest things Emily has ever co-written and recorded. “Blue Sky” is a song which Emily sings nearly every single time she guests on the Grand Ole Opry and I always look forward to it.

    As for this version Keith’s presence thankfully does not derail it. If this “big name star tie in” gimmick helps improve the odds of Top 40 AirHead Country radio airplay from “Zero” to “Not Likely” then that’s a start. It’s amazing that Capitol Nashville has kept this gal on their roster!

    I still say Emily should release the sassy and fun “Annie’s Gonna Get a New Gun” as a single! At least she’d go down with guns blazing! (lol)

  5. Bob
    January 12, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I bought “Blue Sky” and 3 other Emily West songs on i-tunes about 2 years ago. Love her sound but I have to admit that I’ve yet to hear her sing live.

    Her co-writer Gary Burr is a better singer than half the male vocalists who are regulars in the country top 40. Heard him last month at the Bluebird with some of his fellow songwriters in their group “Meldiburpho”.

  6. Erin
    January 12, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    SHE IS AMAZING! Her music is so real and awesome! I really hope this gets the attention it deserves! I always buy her music and cannot wait for the CD

  7. Jon G.
    January 13, 2010 at 9:51 am

    A very good song with good vocals from Emily West. It’s probably not the kind of song that I will listen to more than once, though.

  8. Laura
    January 18, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    I am so glad Emily released this song!! Lets hope she releases a cd this year!! She is such an amazing talent!!

  9. Colt
    February 10, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    This song reminds me of the Lifetime network.

  10. Vicki
    February 16, 2010 at 5:55 am

    She has a great voice and she is excellent on this song. But I admit, I have seen Emily in person and her antics. Also, the “introducing Emily West” on GAC even showed more of her antics. There is something called “like-ability” factor. So far, her “See me! See Me! I’m all of that and then some” personality just turned me off.

  11. hbert
    March 5, 2010 at 4:05 am

    I think u are all crazy. This song is a big song. If u want personality alone then go to the movies. If u want singing alone then go to a Carrie show and bore urslef to death. But if u want some damn good talent-filled entertainment, then listen to Emily. If ur not partial to the “antics” then u need a little more confidence and personality. If personality is too much for u to handle then go watch “let’s make a deal” and stop making critical comments about music. Peace and grits, dumbasses.

  12. klark
    March 5, 2010 at 6:45 am

    this song is awesome. wow.
    country radio needs this one.
    snap! this should be a hit

  13. Vicki
    March 30, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Hbert, you missed my point completely. I said she is a great singer and yes this song is extremely good. But FOR ME, I like a bit more humbleness in real life. Maybe her need to push, push herself out there will subside once she has a hit but until then, I’ll listen to her music but turn channel when she starts speaking.

  14. La La
    April 13, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Emily West is the real deal. Her voice kills me! We need more of her. MORE! MORE! sing..sing…sing…that voice is crazy good and you all know it.

  15. Amanda
    April 23, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    I absolutely love Emily West! She has such an amazing voice and her personality makes her even better! Can’t wait to see and hear more from her!

  16. Mike
    May 18, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    This song is definately one of the more powerful songs to hit radio in quite sometime. Emily has the perfect voice for this song , and she delivers it well. If people knew who she was, she would be an instant superstar. A lot of people didnt know who she was until she sang blue sky on tv for the charity single.5/5

  17. Jen
    May 25, 2010 at 12:50 am

    Emily is one of the most refreshing and most fun individuals I’ve had the pleasure of seeing come on the scene lately. I wish I could have lunch with her because she would make me laugh. It isn’t ‘antics’, it’s just HER. Just a taste:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QC3wm5Funz4

    And, her voice is killer.

Tagged In This Article

// //

Current Discussion

  • Ken Morton, Jr.: Another twisted collection of songs to put into the Friday Five Hall of Fame, Juli.
  • Arlene: I'd have included "Omie Wise." Doc Watson's is the version I'm familiar with but I think it's been recorded by …
  • luckyoldsun: I think the number one country murder ballad is "Frankie and Johnny"--by Jimmie. Also, how about "Delia's Gone" from Harry Belafonte …
  • Juli Thanki: Colloquial use of "fantastic" as a synonym for "excellent" dates back to the 1930s. And if it's good enough for …
  • Paul W Dennis: I think "Banks of The Ohio", "Miller's Cave" and "It's Nothing to Me" are far creepier than several of the …
  • Paul W Dennis: The Hight article is interesting, although I don't know that I would describe it as fantastic, but then I know …
  • Dana M: I'm actually excited to hear a new Reba album. As for the Alan Jackson tour, I hope he announces Canadian …
  • nm: Agreed. A good job by three very smart women.
  • Deremy Jylan: The Hight piece is tremendous reading.
  • Juli Thanki: Much like the music of Aldean and FGL, Michelob Ultra is favored by college kids and too much exposure will …

Recently Reviewed Albums

  • deadmanstown
  • tom t hall storytellers
  • paulthorntooblessed
  • duhksbeyondtheblue
  • kelleymickwee
  • sandrarhodes
  • candi staton
  • sturgillsimpsonmetamodern