A wonderful mixture of jazziness, country, soul and well, a little bit of everything, Bonnie Whitmore’s newest release, Fuck With Sad Girls is as thoughtful, lyrically as it is rich with different musical flavors. The Denton, Texas native offers up eleven songs of perspective, restrained but no-messing anger, disillusion and hope. And her voice fits perfectly framed in the emotions that carry the songs.
“Wash It Away” conveys a sense of heartbreak and wondering how and why a relationship goes awry; her singing floats from soft and breathy to stronger and yet pained; the music builds up dramatically with some stinging guitar and orchestral arrangements that rise up like someone getting ready to walk out of a room for the last time; “She’s A Hurricane” is a cross between Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and modern country-pop – lyrically descriptive, catchy and immediately something you can imagine hearing on radio and “Hey Babe” is quickly my favorite as it opens with a perfect cascade of Rickenbacker 12-string arpeggios and kicks in a pure-pop fashion, with harmonies on the chorus and the sound of Hammond organ pulsing through the haze – simply fantastic. And again, an instant radio hit. The album’s title track is a clever, slower blues-y/country piece and a straightforward lyric (“…no one really wants to fuck with sad girls/no one wants to see the cracks the makeup doesn’t hide…”); “Used To Call Me Baby” is down-home rock & roll boogie with hypnotic riffing, Fender Rhodes runs and a mid-’60’s Memphis feel and “Stoner” is another Rickenbacker driven beauty with a gentle vocal and an equally restrained performance (the use of brushes on the drums is highly effective).
As I said, all powerful, gripping performances which certainly has stayed with me; stayed in my head. And you know someone’s done an album just right when you not only want to hear the entire collection again but you keep thinking about it. And once you hear it, you’ll be thinking about Bonnie Whitmore a lot.
Fuck With Sad Girls is available now