Amanda Martin could very well be the next big thing in Nashville’s huge circle of young female artists. To make it these days, you have to possess something special and different from the cookie-cutter country divas. Amanda is different. She is a top notch songwriter, and has a song on the new Trace Adkins record. She has garnered the attention of many of country music’s fines, including the great Lee Greenwood, who has co-written and recorded a duet with Amanda. Not to mention the fact that she is right at home on stage.
If I had to sum Amanda up I’d say she is like a female Garth Brooks. She has the same style of delivery as Garth, and the same stage presence and confidence. All qualities of a winner, to be sure.
The songs here are all good. All killer, no filler, as we used to say back in the day. Beginning with the rocking “I Don’t Think So,” the album just delivers one radio friendly track after another, all co-written by Amanda.
“Whiskey Makes Me Cry” is a favorite of mine, with it’s Jewel meets Garth delivery and brilliant lyrics. I first heard it during a songwriters circle, just Amanda on acoustic and I loved it. The full on production is just as good, polished and shining like gold - or maybe platinum.
“Don’t Say Goodbye without Leavin’” is another catchy tune, with Amanda’s remarkably good vocals soaring like an eagle over a beautiful musical landscape, and “Loaded” is a great song about a girl wishing her man could be more open and say nice things about her without being intoxicated.
The album ends with two of the very best songs of the set, Amanda’s signature song, “You Can’t Help But Love Me,” a Top 40 hit in waiting, and her absolutely breathtaking duet with Lee Greenwood, “Nothing That I Wouldn’t Do for You.” The last track is one of the most beautiful love ballads I have heard recently.
I look for big things from Amanda Martin, and I have no doubt she is on her way to the very top of the charts. After all, you can’t help but love her.
-Michael Buffalo Smith