Singer-songwriter Mindy Smith has carved out a niche for herself
in folk-pop's trenches, and her latest record Stupid Love digs
her heels even deeper into its Mayberry-like landscape. Teetering
on the fringes of modern country, Smith's songs have the catchy pulsating
rustles of Antigone Rising and the comfy folk riffage of Colbie
Caillat. The rivets of steel guitar drilled along "If I Didn't
Know Any Better" are customized to Smith's vocals as soaring
orchestral arrangements halo her movements. The upbeat tempo of "Highs
And Lows" sets the album on a mission to move with urgency, and
then withers to a slow roll along the soft dunes of "Love Lost."
The melodic fittings are snug around Smith's vocals making Stupid
Love an album that she was meant to deliver.
The dewy guitar drops and wispy crests of "Telescope" are
draped around tranquilizing strings, which transition into the palpitating
country rock romp of "What Love Can Do." Smith nestles her
vocals comfortably in the nooks and crevasses of the tracks like they
are made for her proportions. The songs have a soft folk-pop aesthetic
that fans have come to associate with Smith, like the reflective pools
of acoustic guitar tinseling "Couldn't Stand The Rain" and
the ambling lifts of "Bad Guy." Smith tests the seas of
torchlight-pop with the shallow waters of the piano-driven ballad
"Surface," and steers the track beautifully through the
soulful breeze. The album turns melancholic along the pensive strokes
of "I'm Disappointed," and hopeful around the glazy acoustics
and laid-back mood of "True Love Of Mine." The springy ripples
of "Love Chases After me" inject an upward surge, before
closing the album with a custard topping of jangly beats and feathering
acoustics in "Take A Holiday."
Mindy Smith is a consummate country-folk artist eager to try out
new ideas while remaining steadfast to some of the old ones. Her album
Stupid Love is a perfect fit for her. Produced by Ian Fitchuk,
Justin Loucks and Smith, Stupid Love widens folk-pop's
panorama and breaks down the walls that keep it confined outside of
soft rock's domain. With her heels dug into folk-pop's soil, Mindy
Smith is an artist who is keeping on course and soaking in its ambience.
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