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Danielle Bradbery, ‘The Heart of Dixie’ – Song Review

The Heart of Dixie
Big Machine Records

Danielle Bradbery‘s natural sweetness pours through on her debut single, but ‘The Heart of Dixie’ isn’t a perfect match for the 16-year-old. It takes years of experience to be a great storyteller, especially when the main character is going through something the singer hasn’t. Her performance is admirable, but not memorable. 

She had a dead end job at the national bank / And a deadbeat husband who always drank / So when he didn’t come home he had the gin to thank / For the tears in her eyes / So Dixie packed up and said her goodbyes,” Bradbery sings to open the song. It’s possible she witnessed such a heart-wrenching scenario during her life, but Dixie’s pain never really takes on personal meaning, partly because the lyrics lack soft detail.

This may not be a problem for country fans who didn’t follow her on ‘The Voice,’ however. The Texan has a more mature voice than a typical teen, and there a number of great lines during the song’s second half that will inspire women (or men) caught in a seemingly hopeless situation.

It’s a funny thing when your world falls down / It’s got a way of showing you what you’re all about,” Bradbery sings. The chorus plays to her strengths. She wisely stays away from over-sweetening this first impression. It leans traditional, which will do her well long term.

And she went driving so far away nobody’s gonna find her / Flyin’ just fast enough to leave it all behind her / But she didn’t know ’til she hit the road, deep in her soul / She’s got the fire and the fight of the gypsy / Nothing’s stronger than the heart of Dixie.”

Timing may be an issue in getting ‘The Heart of Dixie’ to radio. Last season’s winner of ‘The Voice’ is currently promoting a new single (from the same label group), and there may be some who are hesitant to play two new female vocalists from reality shows (it can be that fickle). Kree Harrison and Tate Stevens‘ singles seemed to have fizzled out, but Cassadee Pope‘s ‘Wasting All These Tears’ is strong competition to ‘The Heart of Dixie.’ This is more context than fodder for a song review, but it illustrates one of millions of reasons a song can become a hit or a dud.

3 Stars

Listen to Danielle Bradbery, ‘The Heart of Dixie’

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Next: Why Blake Shelton Thinks Danielle Bradbery Is 'The Most Important Artist Ever'

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