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STARific Review: Jennifer Hanson - Jennifer Hanson

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Long before the debut release from Jennifer Hanson, music was engrained deep into her heart and soul. She familiarized herself with the ways of the music business with her father early on (Larry Hanson is a 16-plus-years guitar player for group Alabama). Years later, Jennifer would use that to her advantage as she rocked country radio and television waves with "Beautiful Goodbye." Through her debut single, she introduced herself to listeners, who in turn have extended a receptive welcome to her. Perhaps what makes her music stand out is how she fuses lifes sometimes-harsh lessons recorded in cleverly-crafted lyrics with catchy melodies. Adding that to the combinations of electric, lap steel, and acoustic guitars produces a rockier, more edgy and contemporary feel, which only effectively compliments and further enhances the unique sound that seems a perfect fit to who Jennifer is. Besides writing all but two tracks, she also covers background vocals and had a hand in co-producing her self-titled album.

According to Jennifer, experiencing a BEAUTIFUL GOODBYE is very possible. In this hit debut single, she tells us why. Funky drumbeats followed by a catchy guitar intro sounds like the Friends theme song. False alarm! Instead, Jennifer initiates a venting fest, telling us that it's JUST ONE OF THOSE DAYS where everything goes wrong! Next, she warns us to watch out for guys with a HALF A HEART TATTOO!! This sassy tune stops short of man bashing, which adds to its appeal. In THIS FAR GONE, Jennifer reveals a different side of her musical versatility. It is as if this pensive ballad, which steers away from the contemporary sounds, taking a traditional turn, was written just for her; she sings with such touching conviction this ones going to bring on the tears! This is my favorite track. Next, a friend advises Jennifer to GET YOURSELF BACK. The midsection guitar riffs sound like they belong in a classic rock song. But, Jennifer so cleverly incorporates the instrumentation it actually works very effectively for this song. She takes some time to reminisce about ALL THOSE YESTERDAYS memories that can only found in the heart. TRAVIS strikes an unfortunate but accurate chord on one of lifes most complex issues. The lyrics in this mid-tempo track reach out a supporting hand, but recognizes that domestic abuse is a continuous cycle hard to pinpoint, and even harder to intervene and therefore prevent all together. The blissful ONE LITTLE WORD is the perfect love song, fit for a movie soundtrack! Ok, so Hollywood might not be calling anytime soon, but they should highly consider doing so because this song NEEDS to be the theme song in a romantic film! When love goes awry, IT ISN'T JUST RAINING; the jolting comparison of rain to tears isn't lost in this losing-myself-in-the-blues tune. At first glance, the title of BABY I WAS WRONG is slightly deceptive - fortunately, its for the good; this is a sweet love song. Last is a 50s-style, Patsy Cline-esque ballad, SIMPLY YOURS; this vow of devotion puts a touching close to an exceptional album.

Hello, Nashville: you've just received a wakeup call courtesy of Jennifer Hanson. Heres your cue to make room for country music's newest star. Maybe her blunt, honest lyrics and infectious melodies have something to do with it. More importantly, however, is that her songs are simply timeless. Every one of them is easy to relate to because they cover universal issues, which anyone has or will experience at some point in his/her lives. Jennifer's distinct style may clash with Nashvilles sometimes closed-minded conception of what "country" music is but given a little time, they'll catch on. Contrary to what her debut single dictates, don't expect to say goodbye to her anytime soon! Oh yeah, make sure to pop this CD into your computer for some enhanced material.


Jennifer Hanson
Jennifer Hanson
Capitol Nashville
Released February 28, 2003

Jennifer Hanson


1. Beautiful Goodbye
2. Just One of Those Days
3. Half a Heart Tattoo
4. This Far Gone
5. Get Yourself Back
6. All Those Yesterdays
7. Travis
8. One Little Word
9. It Isn't Raining
10. Baby I Was Wrong
11. Simply Yours

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