Artist: Jamie Lynn Spears
Album: The Journey EP
Release Date: May 27, 2104
Label: Sweet Jamie Music (self-released)
Low key though—Jamie Lynn Spears’ “How Could I Want More” was one of our favorite singles of 2013. Dropped like a bomb in November of last year, Spears’ debut single was everything we could ask for from a modern country ballad—understated in production, restrained in delivery, and really damn sentimental. The track, which rivals recent singles by Kacey Musgraves and some of Taylor Swift’s more subdued material, is the clear highlight of Spears debut EP The Journey. But that isn’t to say the other tracks aren’t worth a listen.
Don’t say she didn’t put her heart into it: each song on The Journey is co-written by Spears, leaving her own personal stamp on the project. “Shotgun Wedding,” a rousing upbeat romp about—yes, an unplanned pregnancy, is a humorous and revealing twist on Spears’ past. The song might as well been written by the Dixie Chicks—taking a light-hearted angle on a not-so-funny situation with witty lyrics and imagery. While it’s not completely autobiographical, it’s hard to listen to the song and not think of Spears’ pregnancy at age 16.
Spears didn’t do all the heavy lifting on the EP—she worked with some of Nashville’s top songwriters (Liz Rose, Luke Laird, Chris Tompkins), but that doesn’t hinder her authenticity as an artist. One listen through the EP, it’s pretty obvious the ideas, concepts, and themes of The Journey come straight from Jamie Lynn. And that’s what makes the project even more endearing—these aren’t old demos that have been dusted off after the superstars rejected them.
Regardless of Spears’ family ties, it’s admirable to see her take on a new chapter in her career with such determination. Over the past year, Spears has toured the US on a small tour—stopping in small cities all over the map to connect with fans and promote at radio along the way. With appearances on The Bobby Bones Morning Show, The Today Show, and her Opry debut set for July 12, the singer’s done quite well considering “How Could I Want More” failed to crack Top 50 on radio. Country radio might not initially warm up to Britney’s little sister, but if the material on The Journey is any indication, we think they might have to start paying attention sooner than later.