Jesse Lee – “It’s A Girl Thing”

Karlie Justus Marlowe | May 14th, 2009

Jesse Lee Songwriters: Victoria Banks, Jesse Lee and Rachel Proctor

Country’s latest crop of vague proclamations—It’s America! She’s country! It happens!—just got its latest addition, thanks to newcomer Jesse Lee.

It’s a girl thing!

Although it’s understandable for artists to gravitate toward authoritative, all-encompassing statements like these, it’s disappointing the talented Lee kicks off her career with a string of clichés about weddings, make-up and roses, all tied into a simplistic knot about womanhood.

Unsurprisingly, only certain types of “girl things” make it into the song, perhaps because it’s trickier to fashion rhyming schemes around “glass ceiling” and “income disparity” than “diamond rings” and “cute shoes.” Despite promising opening bars that sound like Lee may have learned a thing or two from opening for the likes of Clay Walker, “It’s a Girl Thing” quickly delves into a chorus full of gems like “We love romance, and candlelight/You like a cold beer, we like a fine wine.

Lee’s more than capable voice is the only thing that keeps it from falling apart into a giant clichéd mess; unfortunately, those mature vocals create an even starker contrast with the song’s lyrics. Still, the singer effectively twangs “thang” and “strangs,” and the song’s production borrows enough cues from 90s-era pop county to sound downright traditional compared to today’s radio offerings.

However, odd choices like a posse of echoing backup singers and canned party noises towards the song’s end ring fake, and the song’s “we vs. you” mentality (“We want a four course meal/You want Hooters wings”) comes off as uncomfortably groupthink. This collective “we’s” overgeneralization could be fixed by replacing “we” with “I,” and turning the song into a more personal contrast between a girly girl and her manly man.

Stereotypical without being satirical, “It’s a Girl Thing” misses the humor and bite of Kellie Pickler’s “Things That Never Cross a Man’s Mind,” which, although far from a masterpiece itself, grasps the concept of self-deprecation when it comes to the comic differences between men and women.

As a twenty-something beautiful blonde with leanings toward contemporary country, Lee clearly has to find what makes her unique in today’s market. For that reason, it’s too bad that a young country singer who streaks her hair with neon colors to stand apart from the crowd would rely on such conventional stereotypes for her first single.

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  1. [...] The 9513 think it rings Fake - Roughstock compares her to Emmylou Harris [...]
  2. [...] Down) Jason Aldean – “Big Green Tractor” (Thumbs Up) Jesse Lee – “It’s a Girl Thing” (Thumbs Down) Love and Theft – “Runaway” (Thumbs Down) Luke Bryan – [...]
  1. Striker
    May 14, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    The sideways promo shot is annoying too.

  2. Paula_W
    May 14, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Actually I didnt think it was all that bad. Well, ok, it wasnt all that good either, but I think it will be a radio hit.

    I do like the colored streaks in her hair though!

  3. Juli
    May 14, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Unsurprisingly, only certain types of “girl things” make it into the song, perhaps because it’s trickier to fashion rhyming schemes around “glass ceiling” and “income disparity” than “diamond rings” and “cute shoes.”

    Awesome. Very nice review, Karlie!

  4. Chris N.
    May 14, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    “You think the Three Stooges are the height of hilarity
    But I’m too busy dealing with this income disparity
    You never tell me ’bout your deep inner feelings
    Meanwhile I’m trying to break through a thick glass ceiling”

  5. Paula_W
    May 14, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Wow Chris! :-)

  6. Daniel Tarner
    May 14, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I don’t like this song at all. It is a total copy of Kellie Picklers things that never cross a mans mind. There are way too many blondes already in country music, carrie, taylor,miranda ,Emily west etc….there aint room for another one. Jesse’s got nothing on those girls.

  7. Nicolas
    May 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    I’m not quite sure, but it almost sounded like her voice vibrated in parts of that song… which sounded really weird

    Anyways, the song is pretty silly and not in a good way … “Things That Never Cross a Man’s Mind” by Kellie Pickler is definitely a far-better song in vocal delivery and in lyrics

    I didn’t get the part in the song where it said in the morning a girl wakes up n a man tells her she’s pretty but she turns the other way ’cause she don’t have makeup on. Huh? Its like a reverse of songs like “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful”… its like saying that she needs makeup in order to feel beautiful

  8. Rick
    May 14, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    If this gal were from American Idol or Dancing With The Stars, she might stand a chance at Top 40 country radio. I’d much rather see Megan Mullins new single do well on the charts than this competent but generic piece of fluff, even though I do like its 90’s style traditional influences. Jesse really needed a debut single written by Hillary Lindsey, Chris Lindsey, Aimee Mayo, etc…

  9. Stormy
    May 14, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    In her defense she did say that its a girl thing, not a woman thing.

  10. Matt B
    May 15, 2009 at 12:05 am

    Rick, it WAS co-written by Rachel Proctor and Victoria Banks. Given radio’s target demographic, there’s o way this ‘fun’ song isn’t a hit, especially since girls everywhere will eat it up.

    Also, Megan Mullins’ single is off to a good start at radio with a bunch of adds on Monday.

  11. Dr. No
    May 15, 2009 at 9:39 am

    I know guys that hate beer and drink fine wine. Does this mean they are girls?

  12. Chris N.
    May 15, 2009 at 10:06 am

    According to this song, I’m a woman. Actually, according to “I’m Still a Guy” by Brad Paisley I’m also a woman. What is country music trying to tell me?

  13. Erik
    May 15, 2009 at 10:56 am

    What Chris N. said.

  14. Drew
    May 15, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    I actually don’t think it’s terrible, haha.

  15. Nicolas
    May 15, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Taking into consideration whats been said above, I assume this song could be considered a little sexist

  16. Razor X
    May 15, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    According to this song, I’m a woman. Actually, according to “I’m Still a Guy” by Brad Paisley I’m also a woman. What is country music trying to tell me?

    You mean you turn and look the other way first thing in the morning before you put on your makeup and you worry about your butt being too big??

    I actually don’t think it’s terrible, haha.

    It is terrible, but no more so than most of the other songs on mainstream country radio these days.

  17. Nicolas
    May 15, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Razor X: “You mean you turn and look the other way first thing in the morning before you put on your makeup and you worry about your butt being too big??”

    I’m sure he meant more along the lines of fine wine over beer and such as shown above

  18. Stormy
    May 15, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Chris N.
    May 15, 2009 at 10:06 am Permalink According to this song, I’m a woman. Actually, according to “I’m Still a Guy” by Brad Paisley I’m also a woman. What is country music trying to tell me?

    That’s okay, according to this song, I’m Still A Guy and EPSN’s metrosexual poll from a few years back, I am not only a guy, but a really macho one.

  19. Kenzie
    May 19, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    I actually do like this song

  20. David
    May 29, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Wow … That Review is 100% Spot On !!!

    Once you get to the Chorus, that’s a nice little song. Jessica’s Beautiful Voice is Covered Up by the Hard Groove of the Band but she manages to Punch Through Nicely at Key Points in the SOng.

    I think it’s a HIT Song because it’s EXACTLY what’s comming out of Country Radio Today … Great Energy, Country / Pop, Fun Lyrics, GREAT VOICE. Yep … that’s Country Radio Today.

    David

  21. emilie
    June 7, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    OMG!

  22. emilie
    June 7, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    IT’S JUST A SONG!!

  23. emilie
    June 7, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    This song is good and so what if it sounds like “things that never cross a man’s mind”. It’s jesse lee’s song. everything she says in the song might not be true but it’s a song to listen to, not to tell about what’s right and what’s wrong. There has been many male singers to sing about how us girls talk too much..etc. but I still just listen to it and laugh.

  24. emilie
    June 7, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    …and she never said in the song that men don’t like “fine wine” or anything like that. she never even says men. This song is basically talking about what girls like. All of the saying like, “you like cold beer, we like a fine wine,” it’s probably reffering to the guys they know of. Not all men are like that, and she never said that.

  25. Stormy
    June 7, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    1. There is no such thing as “just a song.”
    2. I’m a woman and when I go out I drink either whiskey or Guiness.
    3. If you are old enough to drink you are too old to be a “girl.”

  26. PaulaW
    June 7, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    There is no such thing as “just a song.”

    Yes … there is.

  27. Nicolas
    June 8, 2009 at 2:00 am

    Has anyone seen the music video to this song? It’s like the complete opposite of the song… she’s doing all the “guy stuff”, like watching football on TV and eating burgers while he eats a salad… It doesn’t make any sense

  28. Estelle Banks
    June 11, 2009 at 12:50 am

    Well, I heard her in person yesterday at the Country Music Hall of Fame and I LOVE her voice. She is just having fun with that song, but she did another song that she also wrote called, “It’s Over.” and that had an awesome beat. She did a slow one, “Talk To Me,” and her voice was so ,I don’t know….wonderful. Anyway, she in person if you can. She is very real.

  29. kourtney
    August 4, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Well i thank this is a great song!!i dont care what any of you think!!it makes a very valid statement about most boys and girls!!and the way she is way different than boys!!Estelle above me is the only positive comment i see up here!!I love this song!!and the only rreason you dontunderstand it if you dont is because its a girl thing!!:)haha

  30. melissa
    March 30, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    i think that jesse has an amazing voice. i love her song ita a girl thing. it can relate to so many young women! and her hair! i love! infact, im thinking about putting some pink in my hair! :) you rock jesse! cant wait to hear more music!

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