Jonalee White – “Naked As Fools”

Karlie Justus Marlowe | March 4th, 2010

jonalee-whiteWith a name like Jonalee, a psychic would probably have no reservations about predicting a rendezvous with country music in your future. Jonalee White fulfills that fate to varying degrees of success with her new single “Naked As Fools,” a song that flirts with relevance but ultimately remains just a tease.

The tune’s soft start shows promise as White lays down the background about the relationship–their love is complicated, she knows she can be hard to get along with and sometimes she takes their love for granted–while trilling sweet little love notes like, ”If you still get butterflies/I’ll still sing lullabies to you.” These things are cliché, for sure, but for good reason: She’s singing about the same traps lovers have fallen into since the beginning of country music and, surely, the beginning of love.

While White does her best Carolyn Dawn Johnson impression atop perfunctory steel rides, it takes more than a few listens to even begin to tie together the tune’s messy loose ends. The song’s confusing staging leaves listeners without supporting facts on whether the relationship snafu is a recurring problem, a sudden mid-relationship crisis or a new transition from friends to lovers, and too little detail is given to develop the couple as one to champion.

These issues remain unresolved when unsuccessfully tied together with a quip about the benefits of stripping everything off. No, not their clothes–gotcha!–but their inhibitions, guards, walls and reservations about their love for each other: ” You can take away all the things that money can’t buy/If by chance this true love never dies/I can’t believe that we almost let it pass us by/Oh we’re here as naked as fools can be.” This solution seems decidedly one-sided, as we aren’t privy to any two-way communication between the couple, and the characterization “naked as fools can be” remains jarring and awkward.

A “can’t quite put your finger on it” polish remains lacking from the song, especially when compared to the glossy sheen of current radio offerings. White is a step behind her competitors, if not for trying: She and label Lick Records have focused their marketing energies online with the NBC Internet competition Star Tomorrow and Web series Long Road to Nashville. As she continues to build a fan base through these outlets, she should also look for material that boosts her image beyond just another blonde, beautiful Nashville hopeful.

Thumbs Down

  1. Thomas
    March 4, 2010 at 9:05 am

    …why didn’t anybody shoot the drummer and wondered that this dog has no melody and studders from start to finish. maybe they let us hear jonalee white’s true potential on her next release. rarely was a song title more fitting for a production team.

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