I think I may have just found my favorite
album of this year! Rarely do I pop a CD in and listen to it in its entirety - without so much as wanting to stop or skip
to the next track. I was hooked right from the first note.
Appropriately titled, Chalee Tennison's sophomore effort
completely reflects the hardships that life has dealt her in the past couple years. Even though she sings about hurtful situations
- and the emotions that follow - each song is packed with optimism and uplifting messages. Perhaps the reason I like this
album so much is because - though I have not been through half of the same things Chalee has - I have felt most of the emotions
she expresses in her songs. She lets us ride on that emotional roller coaster, taking us from one emotion to the next; in
each song, she also leaves us with inspiration, instead of depression.
This collection of 11 tracks (7 of which were
penned by Chalee), has a recurring theme: recognizing that making mistakes are ok, learning from them, and moving on. In fact,
the opening track YES I WAS says just that - hey, we all make mistakes, but that's ok: "Every mistake I made is a part of
who I am/Was I wrong? Was I right? Yes, I was!" She follows with another touching ballad, SOMEBODY SAVE ME. This song is about
always lending a shoulder to loved one, but needing to be the ones to cry sometimes. If I had to pick just one song, I'M HEALING
would be my favorite track off the album. Again, this song touches on the theme of looking past mistakes made and getting
on with life. THIS WOMAN'S HEART is a song of wedding vows; the woman in the song promises "From this moment on, I give to
you this woman's heart." GO BACK is a beautiful ballad about getting second chances - very powerful message. When I heard
the emotional WE DON'T HAVE TO PRAY, I couldn't help but cry. The woman in the song tries to let go and move on after she
comes to terms with the fact that her marriage has gone wrong; she finds hope and optimism through the eyes of her young daughter.
In WHAT I TELL MYSELF, the woman copes with the pain of divorce by reassuring herself that her spouse will come back. After
singing mostly emotionally-intense and personal ballads, Chalee lets loose and closes out her album with the catchy I AIN'T,
an up-tempo song about the importance of a woman's self-worth. The intended message? That this woman isn't perfect, but she's
sure NOT gonna toy around with those one-night stands - she's got so much more respect for herself than that!
says, "I'm the kind of person who says I've either lived it or want to really bad. It's all this woman's heart. That's the
key thing. We wrote a song called, 'This Woman's Heart' not even thinking this album was my heart." And, Chalee convinces
us that she not only can write killer ballads, but that she has indeed LIVED the songs!
How these songs could escape
radio waves, I'll never know. I do know, however, that this album is definitely a winner!