Single Review: Jamie Lynn Spears — “How Could I Want More”
It’s been 20 years since Alan Jackson first warned us about an impending stampede of stiff, slick-soled cowboy boots in “Gone Country.” Two decades later, country music continues to attract artists of various musical backgrounds for some of the same reasons illustrated in the song’s complex character sketches. Factor in a shrinking radio market and one of the few fanbases still willing to pay for music and concerts, and Jackson’s winking welcome still rings true.
While Darius Rucker, Kelly Clarkson and Sheryl Crow fared recent transitions well, the skepticism that met Jewel, Jessica Simpson and Laura Bell Bundy made their efforts a tougher sell. So which camp does Britney Spears’ little sister fall into?
Based solely on her debut single “How Could I Want More,” Jamie Lynn Spears’ future is promising. Perhaps most exciting is her songwriting role in the creatively catchy and plainly told storyline created with veteran Rivers Rutherford (whose pen was part of Brad Paisley’s “When I Get Where I’m Going” and Gary Allan’s “Smoke Rings in the Dark”): instead of announcing herself with radio’s current female formula of Light and Inspirational and/or Tortured and Slightly Naughty, she takes the more understated, confident path recently forged by Kacey Musgraves and Ashley Monroe.
It’s a brave move, bolstered by Corey Crowder’s impeccable production and a capable, natural twang that drives home the chorus’ syncopated repetition – a satisfying hook that elevates the elementary sketches of blue skies and green grass.
Jamie Lynn has certainly lived a life worthy of a country song — public family meltdowns, a childhood acting career halted by teenage pregnancy and the kind of scrutiny unique to living in the shadow of one of pop’s biggest superstars. As her first public go at synthesizing that story into a go at country radio, “How Could I Want More” is a (winkless) welcome addition to mainstream country music.
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