Carly Pearce: ’29’ – Album Review

Carly Pearce’s brand new album 29 is available now, February 19th, everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a look below as we dig a little deeper into the 7-song project.

Carly Pearce's new album '29' is available everywhere now, February 19th

Carly Pearce’s new album ’29’ is available everywhere now, February 19th

What was a hard year for the world was a year just as hard personally for Carly Pearce. Navigating heartbreak, loss, and self-worth, she released “29”, a remarkable 7-song record out today, February 19th.

The first two tracks are the previously released “Next Girl” and “Should’ve Known Better”. The latter is a mid-tempo Pearce, Jordan Reynolds and Emily Shackleton co-write about how she should have known better than to let her ex in and he should’ve known better than to mess it all up. “Next Girl”, Pearce’s current single is a buzzy, upbeat 90s-sounding song where Pearce is warning the “next girl” on what happens ‘next, girl’.  Both are a familiar yet new sound to add to Pearce’s repertoire.

Title-track “29” is filled with guitar and melodic fiddle and perhaps the most country Pearce has ever been. “29 is the year I got married and divorced…From a Ms. to a Mrs. then the other way around/The year I was gonna let it up/Now I’m never gonna live it down”. The sound is reminiscent of The Wrecker’s “Tennessee” – it’s sweet, sad, but there are also hints of acceptance surrounding it as well.

“Liability” is a real stand-out. It has a real groove to it, and it’s clear that this song is meant to be played live. The chorus is incredibly clever: “Your fabricated love’s become a lie… ability, and oh it’s killing me”. Her vocal range on this song is also showcased very well.

Although Pearce’s marriage to fellow singer-songwriter Michael Ray and subsequent divorce is the major theme of “29”, losing Busbee, her longtime producer is another. “Show Me Around” is a gorgeous, spiritual song about when they’ll find each other again. “I think these songs are not just for me, but for anyone who just has life and is trying to get through it and trying to figure it out as they go,” she said in 29: The Interview. Although specific to her experience, one of the strongest elements about this record is how universally personal it feels.

“Day One” is the perfect track to close off the collection. It’s all about making it through and just getting through “day one” – because eventually, you will be okay. You just have to be patient. You can feel through the words that Pearce is not fully healed herself yet, and that’s okay. She knows she will be – she’s already on the mend, and it’s almost similar to opener “Next Girl” in the way it feels like an older sister coaching you through another phase of life.

It’s unclear where Carly Pearce will go next, and that’s part of what makes this such a strong collection. It is cohesive and yet it leaves you wondering. Without the glitz and the glamour that she experiences by being a major country artist, she falls, gets back up, and survives just like all of us. It’s a really great reminder for the time we’re in right now.

NYCS Picks:
1. “Day One”
2. “Liability”
3. “Should’ve Known Better”

Carly Pearce, ’29’ Tracklist:

1. “Next Girl” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
2. “Should’ve Known Better” | Carly Pearce, Jordan Reynolds, Emily Shackelton
3. “29” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
4. “Liability” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
5. “Messy” | Carly Pearce, Sarah Buxton, Jimmy Robbins *
6. “Show Me Around” | Carly Pearce, Emily Shackelton, Ben West
7. “Day One” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, Matthew Ramsey

produced by Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne
* produced by Jimmy Robbins


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29 is now 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.