The pop influences throughout Lee's music sometimes fall into a full blown pop song, like the opening song of this record, "What You Can't Have." Lee has taken to working with singer-songwriter (and boyfriend to the most popular woman in country right now, Kelsea Ballerini) Josh Kerr, and he released an absolutely incredible demo of a song they did together a while back called "Dream Crusher" on SoundCloud. This song has a similar vibe to that song. It's the mix of the matter-of-fact lyrics, throwback 2000's pop rock production, mixed with the acoustic country/pop sound of Lee usually that creates an absolutely addicting song. Out of all the songs on this record, this is the one sure to be on repeat the most. This pop song trend comes up most prominently again on "Bullet Proof," the eighth track on the album. The difference between this track and "What You Can't Have" is that this is pure pop. This is a song that proves that Lee would be amazing at pop music. She has so many options on what to do in the future, and opening her mind and music to pop is a very smart move.
Country music comes back in all the ballads, which there are quite a lot, and in "Trashy Side" and "Just Like Men" the most prominently. The former track is a highlight, a Carrie Underwood/Miranda Lambert-esque revenge romp, with a key lyric "you ain't no Jolene," an allusion to the classic Dolly Parton song. Jennifer Nettles is another artist that has played on this classic song, with her debut solo single "That Girl." Lee takes the same point of view as Parton though, and just adds a little lee revenge flair.
All the ballads are strong points on this album. From the scathing title track, to the mournful "Killin' Me," to the closing track, "Loved You Enough," Lee covers all of the bases for where you can go with ballads. Some definite standouts are "Hotel," "Fine," and "You Don't Have to Die." The first song is connected to the earlier mentioned song "Trashy Side", because both of the songs are about cheaters. This song is so incredible because how up front Lee is. The song tells the story of Lee walking up to the woman her boyfriend is cheating her on with and saying matter-of-factly "Tell me what the hell/Went down in that hotel/I don't want to have to yell."
"You Don't Have To Die" is arguably the best track on the record. The story in this song is touching, realistic, and so well written. "You don't have to die to be in hell" is the line the song centers around, and tells the story of a man who leaves his family in search of a careless life and regrets it deeply. Whether this is a true story, or made up, it's a captivating story, one that will stop any listener in their tracks.
Jesse Lee, despite the fact that she parted with Atlantic Records, still has very promising music career. She is able to appeal to both pop and country audiences, and is able to blend all her influences together masterfully. This album is a masterpiece in the way she moves from country to pop tracks so effortlessly. She has such a bright future.
Best tracks: What You Can't Have, Trashy Side, Hotel, Fine, You Don't Have To Die
Throwaway tracks: Hearts Are Breakin', Ferris Wheel
Overall rating: 4 and a half crowns