Melissa Carper is blending classic country and bluegrass sounds with swing and jazz elements. On 18th November 2022, the US artist released her fourth studio album overall, Ramblin’ Soul. I had a listen.
Melissa Carper – About The Artist
Melissa Carper#s first steps into music were as part of a traveling country family band in Nebraska. She has been inspired by rather traditional artists like Patsy Cline or Hank Williams. She is most known for being part of the trio The Carper Family, but also releases solo recordings since 2015. Her most successful publication so far was likely her previous album, the 2021 Daddy’s Country Gold.
Melissa Carper – Ramblin’ Soul – Track by Track
The thirteen song album lasts 42 minutes.
1. Ramblin’ Soul
The album opens with the title track. Present steel guitar melodies, jazzy drumming and partially almost a jodeling sound on the vocal side. You just did not expect this album to sound like a country pop smasher of the 21st century. But Melissa Carper rather sounds like an idol of the people she nowadays calls idol.
2. Zen Buddha
The Zen Buddha continues the album with a joyful, lively melody. The singing sounds clearer and more melodic than in the opener. That’s the music they loved dancing to… A couple of decades ago.
3. Ain’t A Day Goes By
The third song slows down significantly and overall presents a rather melancholic atmosphere. In my personal point of view, Caprer’s high voice does not fully fit to this gospel-alike song. But, at least, it comes with a straight and honest attitude.
4. 1980 Dodge Van
Back to the Future? The sound of Ramblin’ Soul overall does not really feel like you already know about which cars are built by Dodge in the early 1980’s. However, if you just skip it and go back into the year 2022, 1980 Dodge Van comes with a nice vibe, which is majorly driven by background guitar licks. Nice, very rhythmic touch.
5. Texas, Texas, Texas
Okay, that’s pure Western Swing, recorded in 2022. You just cannot deny that this one got a nice touch. Regardless whether it is a bit of monotonous.
6. That’s My Only Regret
The problem with recording traditional sounds is that you should not become outdated. Of course, if the song feels too antiquated or not is majorly a matter of taste of the listener. That’s My Only Regret is a bit too close to that limit to me.
7. Boxers On Backwards
While I am just about doubting whether I picked the right album for a review, the easy Boxers On Backwards makes me smile again. Nice, rhythmic vibes.
8. I Do What I WANNA
9. Hit Or Miss
Hit Or Miss is the only cover version on the album. The 1970 original does not really play a leading role in the album. The fact that it is the second longest on the whole long-play definitely turns the skip button into a strong temptation.
10. I Don’t Need To Cry
Overall, this part of the album is the one I struggle with. The slow I Don’t Need To Cry does not change that at all. No element of the tenth song is really catching me.
11. Holding All The Cards
Holding All The Cards is one of the songs which makes you feel the influence of jazz most significantly.
12. From What I Recall
The longest track of the album also comes with a touch of jazz, but also has some blues elements. I enjoy listening to this style.
13. Hanging On To You
The closing track comes with a very present organ, but majorly with a rather strong touch of soul. A different sound at the very end.
Melissa Carper – Ramblin’ Soul – Spotify
Melissa Carper – Ramblin’ Soul – My View
Ramblin’ Soul definitely has a clear sound, a vision, a concept. Sometimes, this concept does not really match my matter of musical taste, but if you like to travel back in time for slightly more than forty minutes and like to enjoy some slightly old-fashioned tunes, Melissa Carper will make you smile. Technically, she delivered a really good album.
Media Review (2022 Women Country)