For those worried that country music has strayed too far from its roots, have no fear: Tara Thompson is here. Her debut EP, Someone to Take Your Place, is a five-song helping of unapologetic country. But what else would you expect from someone who shares the same bloodline as Loretta Lynn?
The title song kicks off the EP and is a declaration of embracing a newly found single life. She’s doing things she’s not used to, like buying heels, and looking for the next man that fits her list of credentials. And in no way is that man going to be her ex–but that doesn’t mean he won’t be there to witness her move on.
On the next song, Thompson is helping her friend deal with the “Side Effects” of a breakup. It’s as if love were a drug with a fantastic high, but once that high fades away she’ll do some things to cope that she’ll regret in the end. But she’ll survive.
Thompson’s honesty continues on “Vows.” She’s at a wedding and it’s not one of those happily ever after weddings. The bride and groom got too close one night without the proper protection, and they created a new life. So it was either be together (for now) or the groom would be on the receiving end of a certain someone’s shotgun. Everyone knows it probably won’t last, and the groom may or may not have been having fun with one of the brides maids before the ceremony. So people are taking bets as to long it will last–even the preacher.
The unapologetic honesty takes a back seat to sincerity on “Pregnant at the Prom.” It’s a touching story that offers a glimpse into the life of a pregnant teen. She’s coming of age much quicker than her peers and she’s aware those peers are staring and talking about her, but she won’t let all of that keep her from living her life.
The EP concludes with “Jail” and there is no denying what Thompson wants: her man’s passion towards her to reflect that of a recently released inmate. Any more straightforward and it would’ve earned this collection a nice parental advisory label.
Five songs can be limiting when an artist is trying to give fans an accurate statement of who they are, but Thompson delivers. She has no time for smoke and mirrors, which results in honest-as-it-gets country music. And it’s something everyone benefits from.