Confessions of a Nice Girl
Cold River Records
An album tribute to Katie Price aka Jordan…nah, just kidding. It says here that this lass is only 19 years old. Seems she won a singing contest at just 14, down in Houston and had made an album by the following year. As luck would have it, Ms Armiger ( a beautiful brunette with a cheeky face ) is getting help now from Chad Carlson who of course has produced records by another young country/pop star Taylor Swift. Having been but yards from Ms Swift and touring band when they played their first London showcase gig, it was clear how well she had already connected with her audience – young misunderstood girls who were outraged by the attitudes and behaviour of their male quarry. As the patron saint of teen angst, Taylor heads up the pubescent female army of The Wronged. Is there room for Katie Armiger and do her records sound any different ?
On the album cover, our heroine sits laughing in a pink party dress in a launderette, she already has clothing and jewellery sponsors and looking this good, that’s no surprise. There’s a touch of the mighty Shania about her look, that’s not going to be unhelpful is it ?
But on to the sound, this site’s primary concern as always. All the country rock elements are here : 6 and 12 string electric and acoustic guitars, bass, drums, keys, fiddle (of course) and also lap steel on ‘Can You Handle It’, produced this time by Bonnie Baker. Armiger had a hand in writing most of the selections.
‘Best Song Ever’ is as strident an opener as you could want, could be a Taylor Swift composition though..lovely confident band and cracking snare sound, mandolin battling a synth et al ; ‘Kiss Me Now’ is taken a Tom Petty pace, boy this girl can sing ! Bass up in the mix..is she really 19 ? ‘That’s Why’ is much moodier, very contemporary backing, Armiger holds her own holding notes with a cool aplomb and leading the curious with a restrained anguish, such a catchy song. ’Nice Girl’ is a Patty Loveless style rocker, fuzz chords and snappy chorus. ’Ain’t Gonna Happen’ is a choppy-tempo’s piece where she does sound like a Twain contender ; the desolate start to ‘Scream’ gives way to a vocal worthy of Reba and ! She’s making it sound easy…The bluesy sway of ‘Ain’t So Sweet’ is Southern Rock in capable hands. Back to the Petty pacing for ‘Can You Handle It’ maybe the best song here though it has a hackneyed lyric ( don’t like a strong-minded girl do ya ?).
OK, hands up – this is a country pop/rock record where the singer sounds good on all the selections, handles all the tempo’s well and never shrieks or whines. Presses all the buttons for this listener
Pete Sargeant www.fairhearing.co.uk