CD Review of Julianne Hough by Julianne Hough
Recommended if you like
Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride, Taylor Swift
Label
Mercury
Julianne Hough:
Julianne Hough

Reviewed by Mike Farley

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C
ountry music executives are always looking for good-looking people they can turn into singers – and, hopefully, into stars. It’s a bonus when the artist already has musical talent, or when the American public has done the legwork of finding that talent, a la Carrie Underwood. In the case of Mercury recording artist Julianne Hough, there is no doubt her looks were a contributing factor, as well as the fact that she is a two-time champ on “Dancing with the Stars.” Her youth (19 years old at press time) is also in her favor. As far as vocal talent, you might be pleasantly surprised. Of course, we don’t know for sure whether Hough’s voice is electronically enhanced, but the end result coming out of the speakers sure is good, and at least on par with anything else coming out of Nashville these days.

Naturally, this is not old-school country, but the cookie-cutter, made-for-radio fare that has helped Underwood sell millions of records. But the more you listen, the more you realize that just about every song is incredibly catchy. What’s more, Hough sounds like she really means business with this singing thing, delivering these 11 tracks with the conviction of a seasoned veteran.

Julianne Hough

The bouncy “That Song in My Head” kicks off the album, and as the first single, it’s going to pretty much do to you what the title implies. Some of the better tracks are co-written by Nashville heavyweights Hillary Lindsey (“Hide Your Matches”) and Craig Wiseman (“My Hallelujah Song”). In fact, Hough did not have a single writing credit on this debut, and that’s okay. And while Julianne seems to be able to handle the rocking songs, she is best suited for ballads, shining on tracks like “Help Me, Help You” and “I’d Just Be with You.”

People have said when referring to Hough that it’s not fair for one person to have so much talent in addition to stunning good looks. Well, yeah, but she probably had to work her butt off in order to showcase all of her talents in the first place. And once you’ve accepted the fact that Julianne Hough is as beautiful and talented as she is, you can sit back and enjoy her product.

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