For many powerful vocalists, it doesn’t really matter whether they wrote the song or not. Carrie Underwood can sing “Jesus Take the Wheel” with just as much emotion as she sings “Heartbeat.” But for Bradbery, part of her incredible artistry is the songs she can write, and that’s what makes her stand out. “Potential” is a song that blows everything else Bradbery has done away because of the way you can feel the emotions in her words in the delivery.
That was more than a year ago. Now, we finally have the studio version and while it loses a bit of the raw emotion that her live versions have held, Bradbery and her producers did a fantastic job.
For a song that doesn’t necessarily sound like a ‘country song,’ this song has some of the strongest country lyric writing of the year. It’s brutally honest, just like any great country song should be. The message of the song is striking and real. Bradbery’s no longer singing about fun, easy love like she did on her debut in songs like “Never Like This” and “Talk About Love.” She’s grown up, and the content of her songs have grown up along with her.
The love in this song is more complicated, with Bradbery confessing that she’s not in love with the way this man is at the moment, but rather, she’s in love with the man she thinks he can be. There’s a note of regret in the song, because at the end of the day it’s not his fault. She fell in love with someone who doesn’t exist, and “Potential” is Bradbery’s realization and confession that this man is never going to be the man she wants him to be.
Bradbery’s record drops in December, and the songs she’s released leading up to that date are an outstanding representation of Bradbery’s re-introduction into country music. There’s “Sway,” the lighthearted radio song; “Human Diary,” an intricately written break up song; “Hello Summer,” a Thomas Rhett-penned future hit; and this song, the best song she’s ever released. Bradbery is starting this next chapter of her career on her own terms, and I can’t wait to fully be introduced to this new Danielle Bradbery.
Overall rating: 5 crowns
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