Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood…Maggie Rose? This singer’s 2013 debut album went largely overlooked and deserves a spot in your iTunes library. Having formerly released music under the name Maggie Durante, Rose’s Cut to Impress is a brisk 35-minute listen filled with some of the most enjoyable country music you’ll hear this year.
When it comes to being a female country superstar in 2014, Rose checks all the boxes. She’s a young, beautiful blonde with a soulful voice and her own unique blend of blues and country. Take the album’s opener “Preacher’s Daughter”—for example: the track’s intro features a mighty steel guitar lick accompanied by gospel-tinged vocal riffs—eliciting feelings of the deep south, Louisiana swamplands, and the True Blood opening theme.
The album’s first two singles “I Ain’t Your Mama” and “Better” made a minor dent on radio, peaking at #29 and #30 respectively, and Rose has received critical acclaim from country fans alike. Rose’s strength is in her eclecticism. Each track takes on a different sound—from the gospel/soul previously mentioned to the honkytonk of “Goodbye Monday” and the modern ballad “Better.” Throughout all the genre shifts, Rose keeps her artistry in tact with her one-of-a-kind voice.
The album’s true highlight is third single “Looking Back Now,” written by the truly gifted Lisa Carver. From the powerful, layered vocal opening, listeners are treated to a riveting tale, with Rose singing from the perspective of a scorned woman whose double homicide would put the women in any of Carrie or Miranda’s revenge singles to shame.
Once the female drought on country radio ends, we truly hope Maggie Rose finds her place on the charts amongst the greats like she deserves. Until then, enjoy Cut to Impress in its full glory and unravel last year’s most underrated release.