Friday, October 22, 2010

Courtney Dickinson, "Daddy Drives a Ford"

This new Graffiti Peace/ Bubba Records signee has appeared in national ad campaigns (at the age of two), taken the stage on the Grand Ole Opry, worked in television and film, and performed for former President Jimmy Carter, all before reaching the legal driving age.  She is now attempting to add country radio hitmaker to her list of accomplishments.

Did you smell country cliches when you saw the title to this new single?  I know I did.  But fortunately, "Ford" stears clear of that route.  True, the song does play on the common cliche of a girl wanting to find a guy who's just like her daddy.  But it's better to put your own spin on a cliche than to just copy it down and try to pass it off as a lyric. 

In "Daddy Drives a Ford," Courntey clearly defines the most important qualification for any man wishing to be her lover - He must drive a Ford, just like her daddy.  No fancy German sports cars!  In a rapid-fire delivery, Courtney rattles off all the features that her potential-new-boyfriend's car must possess - everything from automatic three-speed to wall-to-wall carpeting.  The high-octane melody speeds along in a way that almost resembles a Ford weaving in and out of traffic.

Unfortunately, there are a few bumps in the road.  I hate to pick on a 14-year-old over her vocals, but her delivery here sounds more like something you'd hear out of a karaoke machine than what you hear on the radio.  Her delivery sounds a bit strained and listless at some points in the song, and she is nearly drowned out by the drumbeat in the chorus.  If all goes well, she may be able to acquire more vocal control as she matures.  For now, clever lyrics, hooky melodies, and sprightly banjo and mandolin-laced production compensate to some degree for vocal weaknesses.

This "Ford" may have a few dents here and there, but the sum of its parts successfully works to make it enjoyable.  If you're just looking for a good road tune tune to blast from the stereo of your trusty-rusty old truck, then Courtney has just the ride for you.

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)

HEAR IT on Courtney's official website