Kellie Pickler — “Little Bit Gypsy”

Karlie Justus Marlowe | August 26th, 2013

picklerSongwriters: Tammi Lynn Kidd, Fred Wilhelm and Kyle Jacobs

Since releasing 2012’s critically acclaimed 100 Proof to little success at country radio, Kellie Pickler took an alternate route to mainstream visibility in 2013.

She shaved off her long blonde hair in support of a friend’s battle with cancer and joined Dancing with the Stars. Her hair grew back into a pert pixie cut befitting her personality, and she ran away with the dancing competition to come out on top. Suddenly, it wasn’t just the American Idol fanatics and country music traditionalists looking for a twenty-something savior who knew Pickler’s name.

So now, what about the musical follow-up?

With just two new singles out, it’s hard to tell exactly where the next intersection of the country-pop perfection of “Red High Heels” and the slow burn of “Long As I Never See You Again” will fall. But since leaving Sony and signing with Black River Entertainment, it’s been a mixed bag.

After the sweeping but drooping “Someone Somewhere Tonight” (and its well-timed music video with fellow DWTS winner Derek Hough), Pickler forges on with the perky “Little Bit Gypsy,” a title tailor-made for a pre-teen Instagram handle ripe for a slew of selfies. But instead of oversharing, the song oversells.

“Little Bit Gypsy” is less of a story and more of a character sketch, owing much of its punch to its singer’s expert flourishes. While songwriters Tammi Lynn Kidd, Fred Wilhelm and Kyle Jacobs (Mr. Pickler) can take credit for the catchy chorus and undertones of the organ keep things quirky, it’s Pickler that most successfully stretches and spins her way through the song — especially on song highlight “I don’t know where I’m headed to/I just know I wanna go with you/Do you wanna go too?” — as if she still had on sequins and tights.

It’s fun, and then it’s over — just like its protagonist, “Little Big Gypsy” rolls in and out of town without much left behind. After an unforgettable year, this is an entirely forgettable song.

Thumbs Down

 

  1. Catfishjones
    August 26, 2013 at 9:25 am

    This review is totally forgettable because it points out one of problems with reviewers who believe that a song from an artist should always be powerful works of art at the get go. This song should be reviewed for what it is; a fun sing along,roll the windows down ditty. Is it ‘The Letter’ or ‘Mothers Day” ? No,but taken on its own ‘country ‘ merits ,its pretty catchy. I’d rather have this piece of country music than the pop drivel being played elsewhere .

  2. Andy
    August 26, 2013 at 9:52 am

    I actually find Kellie’s new single a grower and prefer it to new singles from Jennifer Nettles, Jo Dee Messina and most certainly the below par Sara Evans newie. Country radio needs all the females it can get right now compared by the dirge from male acts.

  3. Bruce
    August 26, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Pickler has been an interesting study. She has had some limited success but seems to have always missed the “breakthrough” status. She certainly can sing and she appears to stay relevant by a variety of means. I believe she has had 1 top-ten song and her debut album went gold but the follow-ups have been less successful. Yet, she still seems to be a known commodity in country music. Maybe it’s the pretty, blond thing as I would doubt she would still be as relevant is she wasn’t as “attractive”. Sorry but just sayin’. It is what it is. Not that I agree with it.

    I really do not know altogether why the success has not been more forthcoming. Maybe others can give their thoughts.

    To Catfishjones, your comments are noted.

  4. JD
    August 26, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Shaking my head in disbelief. This is one of the best and most country songs on radio. It blows away the average pop songs from Sara, Jennifer, Laura, Kelly Clarkson, Sheryl, Taylor, Cassadee, and most of the men and groups. With this clearly thumbs up song getting a thumbs down and pop songs like Watch the World End and I Want Crazy getting thumbs up, this site is no longer country.

  5. bruce
    August 26, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    JD – Better watch it. Your comment “most country songs” will be subject to explanation. For me, I do like it when compared to the list you mentioned.

  6. Juli Thanki
    August 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Sure, it’s better than Sheryl Crow or Laura Bell Bundy’s new singles, but compare it to the music on Pickler’s last album.

    100 Proof was a stellar record and a fine showcase of Pickler’s ability as a singer, song selector, and writer. Compared to songs like “Stop Cheatin’ on Me,” “Where’s Tammy Wynette,” and even “Unlock That Honky Tonk,” “Little Bit Gypsy” is a step backwards for her.

  7. Leeann Ward
    August 26, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Agreed. It’s not awful, but she’s proven she can do much better. You give an inch, we want a mile, you know. If somebody sets a higher standard for herself, I suppose to maintain that standard is their cross to bear. To defend a song by saying that it’s better than the other crap on the radio is only so convincing.

  8. BRUCE
    August 26, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Juli – I certainly agree with your comparison.

  9. Rick
    August 26, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    I truly don’t care for the production on this track but this little ditty sounds tailor made for Top 40 AirHead Country Radio, which is obviously it’s designated target. I hope it does well on radio for Kellie’s and her new label’s sake but being on a small label reduces the odds radio stations will give it a spin.

    If Kellie is going down, at least she’s going down fighting…

  10. JD
    August 27, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Bruce, no explanation needed. This site is reviewing radio singles so it’s a good comparison. Simply listen to radio or all the songs on the chart and this song is better, more country and unique than most. If I were listening I’d turn the volume up when this comes on instead of off like for many songs. I also like it at least as much as many of the better songs radio hasn’t played.

    What I see needing explanation is why average pop songs like Watch the World End and I Want Crazy were given thumbs up and this song thumbs down on a country site. I mean come on, Trace and a duet with pop singer Colbie Caillat is a big step down for him and doesn’t work. It’s something Taylor does. Hunter’s song is pop with no steel or anything country. His new single is a duet with another pop singer as if he’s not already too pop. Beat This Summer was given a thumbs up and it’s not better and is more pop than Little Bit Gypsy. Kellie is keeping it far more country than them and most others, like Sara and Brad used to do. Isn’t a thumbs down less than 50 out of 100 points? This song is much better than that. Just based on the review, most of which isn’t about the song being reviewed, I’d give it at least 85 points, 4/5 stars or thumbs up.

    Juli, I like this song just as much as the music on the 100 Proof album. Do you not like country/rock? I do when it maintains country music (steel, fiddle, etc.) like this does and unlike many songs on radio. I love the steel in this song and it’s getting to be a rare commodity. How about comparing Watch the World End, I Want Crazy, Beat This Summer and every song to the music on 100 Proof. Compare Watch the World End and Beat This Summer to their older albums. How is Beat This Summer not “less of a story” or less country? Little Bit Gypsy and Beat This Summer are just fun summerish songs. There’s no need to go deep on every song.

    Rick, being female reduces country radio odds more than anything. Maybe it was just the wrong big label but radio didn’t play a few of her singles when she was with one and only a few females aren’t struggling. Reviews like this aren’t helping either.

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