Carly Pearce: ’29: Written In Stone’ – Album Review

Carly Pearce’s third studio album, 29: Written In Stone is available today, September 17th. Take a look below as we dig into the record.

Carly Pearce has had a whirlwind of a year to say the least, she’s experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Some might choose to only acknowledge the pretty, but on 29: Written In Stone, Pearce embraces her pain with grace and it has resulted in what will be a career-defining album.

The project is undeniably country, and the Kelsea Ballerini co-write “Diamondback” is the clever opener where fiddles fly and diamond ring promises die.

“Take the bed where you used to lie // Keep the friends I never liked // And the happy-ever-after welcome mat // But you ain’t gonna get this diamond back, no never ever ever getting this diamond back”

It’s an empowering message to people everywhere that they shine brightest when they stay true to themselves. “I hope [this] shows you can stand in your truth and stand confidentially in whatever life gives you and to accept that”, Pearce shared with us in a recent interview.

“What He Didn’t Do” is one of the strongest moments on the record both vocally and lyrically: it’s honest in the most dignified way. Pearce proves why less can be more, even if “we both know I could run him out of this town”. Her voice shines beautifully on the chorus and establishes such composure and class that runs deep throughout the rest of the 14 songs.

There are two duets on 29: Written In Stone, one with the iconic Patty Loveless and one with the incomparable Ashley McBryde. “I’ve never been somebody that’s been like ‘I have to be in my own lane and you stay over there and we can’t collaborate’”, Pearce told us. “I think it’s super fun to collaborate with [other artists].”

The aching waltz that is “Dear Miss Loretta” has Pearce and Loveless asking Loretta Lynn for some advice. “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” is one of the more modern-sounding songs on the album, and it’s a welcomed difference. It’s not an overdone-feminist anthem, but the story never puts blame on either woman, refreshing to hear in a cheating song. Their voices blend so wonderfully together and it is bound to be a huge hit. On how the duet came to be, Pearce tells us, “I just asked her if she wanted to write a song, and she did! And we got in the same room and I was hoping that she would want to write a duet and she later told me that she was hoping the same.”

Closer “Mean It This Time” is a stunning letter-to-self that truly encapsulates the project and its finality. This is where fans will get to understand the title of the album on a new level. Pearce shares what the writing process was like of the song. “It was almost like I didn’t even notice that I was ready to think about that kind of hope. I certainly had not thought about dating at this time, and was just like “I know what this means to me” and we wrote it so fast, and when we were trying to do the demo, we were all laughing because I could not physically sing it.”

“When I say forever, I’m gonna write it in stone // 100 years wouldn’t be long enough, it would never get old // And when I give my heart away, and lay it all on the line // When I tell the world I’m yours and baby you’re mine // I wanna mean it this time”.

Throughout all of 29: Written In Stone, Carly Pearce brilliantly and sincerely tells a story while still taking the high road. This is an album that will be listened to by country fans for years to come. This chapter sets Carly Pearce on the road to be one of country music’s greats.


  1. Diamondback” | Carly Pearce, Kelsea Ballerini, Tofer Brown, Shane McAnally
  2. What He Didn’t Do” | Carly Pearce, Ashley Gorley, Emily Shackelton
  3. Easy Going” | Carly Pearce, Natalie Hemby, Josh Osborne
  4. Dear Miss Loretta” (featuring Patty Loveless) | Carly Pearce, Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally+
  5. Next Girl” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
  6. Should’ve Known Better” | Carly Pearce, Jordan Reynolds, Emily Shackelton
  7. 29” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
  8. Never Wanted To Be That Girl” (Carly Pearce & Ashley McBryde) | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Ashley McBryde
  9. Your Drinkin’, My Problem” | Carly Pearce, Nicolle Galyon, Sasha Sloan, Ben West
  10. Liability” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
  11. Messy” | Carly Pearce, Sarah Buxton, Jimmy Robbins*
  12. Show Me Around” | Carly Pearce, Emily Shackelton, Ben West  
  13. Day One” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, Matthew Ramsey
  14. All The Whiskey In The World” | Carly Pearce, Jordan Terry Minton, Jordan Reynolds, Emily Shackelton
  15. Mean It This Time” | Carly Pearce, Jordan Terry Minton, Jordan Reynolds, Emily Shackelton

Produced by Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne
* Produced by Jimmy Robbins
+ Produced by Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, and Tony Brown

Our Picks:

  1. “What He Didn’t Do”
  2. “Mean It This Time”
  3. “Day One”
  4. “Never Wanted To Be That Girl”

Carly Pearce’s new album, ’29: Written In Stone’ is available now

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Carly Pearce releases.

To keep up with Carly Pearce, follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

29: Written In Stone, is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.