Release Date: Aug 11, 2009
Record label: Vanguard
Genre(s): Folk, Singer-Songwriter
After the tasteful Southern-accented and acoustic-leaning sound of Mindy Smith's first two albums, Stupid Love finds her dipping her toes into something closer to contemporary pop. Smith is a long, long way from transforming herself into Taylor Swift, but the snappy rhythms and percolating basslines on "Highs and Lows" and "Love Chases After Me" are a good bit more radio-friendly than Smith's earlier work, and "What Love Can Do" recalls the muscular grace of classic era Fleetwood Mac, suggesting that she's eager to play to a broader audience than she has in the past. Ian Fitchuk and Justin Loucks produced Stupid Love with Smith, and while they've dressed up the arrangements and added just a touch of polish to the recording and mix, thankfully Smith herself seems little changed by the new surroundings; her voice is as supple and gracefully balanced as ever, and the 13 songs she wrote (or co-wrote) for the album are literate and emotionally honest stuff, even if broken hearts and alcoholic self-medication pop up fairly often in the lyrics (though her duet with Daniel Tashian on "True Love of Mine" finds her in more contented form).
A gorgeous lady with a gorgeous voice, Mindy Smith might have been a country superstar. Her harrowing “Jolene” cover (second best “Jolene” cover of the decade after the White Stripes’) and her kinda religious “Come to Jesus” netted CMT and VH1 rotation, and airplay on more daring country stations. And her photogenic looks certainly did not impede her success.
ANJULIE (Hear Music). As Santigold rip-offs go, “Boom,” the debut single by Anjulie, is among the cleverest. Apart from the drums, all the other instruments — the flatulent junkyard brass, the bone-dry Morricone guitars — are obfuscated, floating through haze. On top Anjulie coos coyly ….