Country music with kiwi roots: Jackie Bristow grew up in New Zealand, but is now part of the Nashville music scene. On 4th March 2022, she released her new album Outsider. I had a listen.
Jackie Bristow – About The Artists
Jackie Bristow grew up on the South main island of New Zealand and took her first musical steps in Gore. Later she moved to Sydney, before she finally settled in the United States. Her debut album has already been released twenty years ago (Thirsty, 2002). Overall, there have been three more major releases. However, the last one, Shot of Gold is dated as of 2015 (according to her homepage – I found multiple release dates on different sources.
Jackie Bristow – Outsider – Track by Track
The twelve song album lasts 46 minutes.
1. Livin’ for Love
Livin’ for Love has indeed been the first song I listened to of this album – and I immediately fell in love. A touch of country and Americana, but also a cool groove. I especially enjoy listening to the chorus. The song simply comes with a great presence, a great aura. Nice!
2. Shakin’ My Bones
The second song is much more of a straight country track. Again, Jackie Bristow creates her very own style and sound, which leads to a beautiful listen. Nice melodic arrangement.
3. Without You
The first minute of Without You is very slow, emotional, but the song is catching up some energy thereafter. Nonetheless, a very beautiful listen and a very nicely written love song:
Without You The world I know Will loose its color Without You
Three of the first four tracks of the album have already been released as singles. The title track is one of them. Again, the song works with a great instrumental backing and the very accentuated, precise voice of Jackie Bristow. A bit darker, a bit more of a rock music feeling. Lovely one.
The fifth track is a really nice homage to Tennessee. The key line of the song is I’m coming home – quite a strong statement for an artist from the land of the kiwis. The song is a nice country rocker with catching organ melodies.
6. Fool for You
‘Cause I won’t be a fool for you Baby, one more time
The song is rather repetitive. Nonetheless, Jackie Bristow is again spreading her magic in this lovely, gentle piano ballad. Nice listen, indeed.
California is another slow country rock song. Even though it does come with a nice melody, it does not catch me as much as other songs on the album. There are also some too strong similarities.
This part of the album is having a couple of ballad-alike tracks, one after another. Surrender could also be a Sarah Darling track. Nice performance – but I hope for some powerful vibes soon.
9. Never Too Late
There is at least a strong beat in Never Too Late Not a dancefloor smasher or a honky tonk highlight, but at least a bit more energy.
10. Rockin’ Chair
Rockin’ Chair comes with the aura of a Christmas track to me. There is also a bit of a folk music touch in it. Beautiful, very picturesque lyrics.
The Wildcat is creeping rather gently through the eyes of the listener than being a real roar. A soft predator, for sure. The song is not on my favorite list, unfortunately.
12. Easy Road
There is a bit of power and energy in Easy Road, but finally the song closes the album in a suitable way: the track sounds a bit too much like tracks you listened to before. Bad luck.
Jackie Bristow – Outsider – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Jackie Bristow – Outsider – My View
Damn, I really struggle with that review. On the positive side, there is a lovely vocal performance, great instruments. Overall, there are just very few songs I would rate to be average or below. Song by song, Outsider is not too bad – but the album as a whole is too monotonous to me. Jackie Bristow is exactly the kind of country / Americana sound you like, you will thus kill me for my rating – but I just cannot do a better one than that.