Aritst: Sunny Sweeney
Release Date: August 5, 2014
If you have been looking for some good ol’ fashioned country music to take your mind off of the hip-hop beats and generic bro lyrics of country radio, Sunny Sweeney’s Provoked is the answer.
Provoked might be one of the year’s best records so far. The album is a clever, heart-wrenching, funny, and reassuring group of songs that is a far cry from what’s currently played on the radio. Granted, Sweeney is no longer signed with a major label – she’s still on our mainstream Nashville minds due to being an ex-Big Machine Label Group recording artist.
In 2011, Sweeney released an album (Concrete) with Big Machine’s Republic Nashville. While the lead single (“From A Table Away”) reached #10, the following two failed to crack the top 30. Concrete was a solid release, but Provoked blows it out of the water.
The lead single off Provoked is a Brandy Clark/Jessie Jo Dillon/Shannon Wright-penned tune called “Bad Girl Phase.” It’s a sassy song that describes a girl who wants to go out on the town, break all the rules, and go on a wild streak with no regrets. You can clearly hear the Clark influence in the lyrics – and we LOVE Brandy Clark!
Other fun and sassy songs on the album include “Backhanded Compliment,” a Natalie Hemby co-write that tells of people with good intentions whose compliments don’t come out quite so well, and “Everybody Else Can Kiss My Ass,” a weekend anthem for the working class.
Sweeney’s divorce definitely played a visible role on the album. “Second Guessing,” a Natalie Hemby co-write, explains that Sweeney and her husband would not be together if it weren’t for the mistakes in their previous marriages. “My Bed (feat. Will Hoge)” is an Ashley Monroe/Angaleena Presley co-write that paints a picture from both sides of a crumbled marriage.
All in all, Provoked is a heartfelt record that covers a broad spectrum of emotions that range from rowdiness to love, humor to heartbreak. You will be hard-pressed to find another new release that is this stellar from top to bottom. Provoked is a 100% genuine country record, and it does not disappoint.
Standout Tracks: “Carolina on the Line,” “Front Row Seats,” “My Bed (feat. Will Hoge),” “Sunday Dress”