by HER

Track listing: Mine All Mine, Tramp Stamp, Gold, Separately, (Come On) America, Ring, Jimmy Jones, Addicted, Betty Ford, Alive

Imagine Ke$sha procreating with Kid Rock. Yeah, just think about that for a minute.

Scarred for life?

Some incarnation of the resulting progeny might be the outgoing, lively, and feisty HER. This charismatic southern belle delivers each of her tongue-in-cheek songs with its own unique happy-go-lucky style, but blending in Kid-Rock-like lyrics along the lines of "Betty Ford"'s diggity dang da digga dang dang ditty.

But if the Ke$ha-in-Detroit connection doesn't sit well with you, some other HER lyrics seem more the result of an orgy that includes Miley Cyrus, Amanda Bynes, Taylor Swift, and Lady Gaga. Sing along with HER discovery of a positive pregnancy test, getting an ill-advised "Tramp Stamp" because of an already-ex boyfriend, and her complaints about rehab. HER is certainly creative, yet still derivative; an entirely serious new performer who simultaneously seems to mock her contemporaries.

Stylistically, the title track of Gold is much more inline with her country roots—the panache of the Dixie Chicks, but with a modern pop attitude. So perhaps HER is the scarred-for-life musical child of all the aforementioned artists. But there's something about HER that keeps you listening. The stellar production helps ease the discomfort of hearing country-western steel guitar amist a pop-heavy cacophony of sound. All that said, HER Gold album is a helluva lotta fun.

Posted on 8/21/13