Molly Brown is a special artist because she not only makes music that has heart, but she has an organic, real, country sound that is getting increasingly harder to find in country music these days. The sound includes some elements of folk rock and Americana, but the mixture adds a raw element to the EP. She doesn't really sound like any other artist, which I think, is one of the biggest compliments you can give a new artist. There are traces of Sheryl Crow, traces of Miranda Lambert, but in all honesty, Molly Brown is her own artist. Right now, there is a lot of emphasis in country music on being the 'next something,' like the next Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood. This is good in some cases, because it brings in very talented artists inspired by the artist that they are deemed to be 'the next.' But it also brings in an element of people thinking that there are only three ways that you can be a successful female in country music; being a Taylor, Carrie or Miranda. And that's not true at all. Molly Brown is an example of someone who doesn't sound like the big three, independently recorded a crowd funded record, and has done moderately well.
"This Town" and "He Ain't Gonna Call" are other highlights, because again, they're raw and real. The former track starts off the record, and it has the fullest and biggest sound of any of the songs on the EP. The latter has a more ballad feel, but it's far from a ballad. Even though these songs are highlights, "Off the Wagon" adds a playful element to the EP, "Montana" is the love song, while "Travel in Twos" addresses the need to wander with someone by your side. Every song is worth a listen.
Labels are a blessing and a curse, as UMG recording artist Kelleigh Bannen recently noted in a blog post. But I think what determines an artist's passion, desire, and motivation is how well they do without a label, how well they do without the endless help of people higher up in the industry. How well they do when it's just them and the music, with nothing in the way. That is what determines who an artist is, and how good their music is. Molly Brown worked with less money than she expected, a handful of musicians and 6 songs she had written (some with co-writers, some without), and turned it into this masterpiece of a record. If that doesn't show artistic excellence, I don't know what does.
Best tracks: This Town, He Ain't Gonna Call, The High Road
Throwaway tracks: none
Overall rating: 4 ½ crowns