They say it's difficult to catch lightning in a bottle twice, right? Wrong. Jo Dee Messina defies the odds with her just-released set ME. Blasting on all cylinders, the red-headed powerhouse returns to her charming roots on the 12-track collection, but with a new found maturity, grace and poise. Whether it is the empowering opener "Not Dead Yet," perhaps a nod to her splashy rebound, or the intensely emotional closer "Say Goodbye to Superman" (the best song she's ever recorded), Messina is back in full form.
Headed by a Kickstarter fund, the album is one of this year's finest releases.
She doesn't skimp on sincere storytelling, such as her current rowdy single "A Woman's Rant," which gives new meaning to sass and grit. The song speaks directly to "taking care of everyone" except herself, something we all can certainly relate to in this age of technology. Musically, this offering is the most interesting of all, collecing influences that range from banjo-inflected rock to the typical pop-country flare. Messina packs an electric punch here, making a clear statement of entitlement.
Elsewhere, the singer-songwriter pulls back the reigns, as on the title track–a poignant undertaking about who she is in this world. Amidst recording this album, she recently revealed to NashvilleGab that this track is a subtle nod to her mother, who was struggling with her health during the process. With that tidbit, this song becames even more powerful. Messina's interpretation is breathtaking and might make you cry a few tears.
Other gems: "Like A Kid Again," "Peace Sign," "Love On A Maybe"
Overall Grade: A-
Don't forget to grab a copy of ME on iTunes now!