Sonia Leigh — “My Name is Money”
How many country songs are about money, or, more often, the lack thereof? In Sonia Leigh’s new single, that root of all evil finally gets to speak for itself. Not surprisingly, it reveals itself to be, well, kind of a jerk.
Leigh, signed to Zac Brown’s Southern Ground record label, is perhaps one of the year’s most dynamic new talents. The first single from album 1978 December (due out in late August) is one of her strongest songs, an accessible country rock track with a toe-tapping arrangement heavy on twangy guitars. “My Name is Money,” which has Leigh singing from “Money’s” point of view, begins with the boast “I can make a woman weak/I can make a small man stand tall/I can start wars/And I can put an end to them all.” Three minutes of similar assertions (“I can bring you love/But I’m not the settle down kind“), and it’s no wonder why all those songs are about money: besides love, what can drive a person like cash?
Leigh’s voice is deliciously raspy, reminiscent of Mary Gauthier with a dash of Tanya Tucker sass; here, she flawlessly embodies the swaggering—though not untrue—declarations made by the “character” of Money. She’d add some much needed life to country radio, which hasn’t had a voice like hers since Gretchen Wilson burst onto the scene with “Redneck Woman.” “Money,” grittier than your average single from a female singer, might not fit in a playlist brimming with the pretty, hook-heavy pop-country of Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift, but it’s definitely worth hearing.
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