Goldmine (Deluxe), by Gabby Barrett
Sometimes I get requests to review albums and that was the case here. I am at least a moderate fan of country music (although it rarely gets reviewed here, so far at least), and also a moderate fan of American Idol musicians (most of the albums I have having been listened to before this blog was a thing), and Gabby Barrett falls into both categories. I am familiar with her as an artist mainly from her two hits that hit the Year End over the past couple of years, “I Hope” and “The Good Ones.” I strongly prefer the solo version of “I Hope,” which hits a sweet spot for me as one of those songs about wishing misfortune upon an unfaithful former partner, something I can relate to unfortunately. Does the rest of the album live up to the expectations one would have coming from those two hits? Let us see.
The album begins with “I Hope,” the solo version, with its ferocious attitude towards a cheating ex-partner and a hope that he is paid back in his own coin, something that I can definitely relate to as far as it goes. “Thank God” and “Write It On My Heart” are then filled with a sense of love and devotion and appreciation for a much better relationship that the narrator is enjoying at present. “Footprints On The Moon,” a real standout on this album, then comes along with a rousing sense of wonder. “You’re The Only Reason” reflects the singer’s conviction that her current relationship has kept her from despair in love. “Goldmine” then follows with the singer’s conviction that she is a goldmine for her partner and her gladness that he has found love in her. “The Good Ones” then follows with appreciation that the singer has found one of the good guys instead of one of the many bad ones that one could find. “Jesus & My Mama” then continues in a mood of defiance against haters in a knowledge of the love of God and family, a very excellent sentiment. “Hall of Fame” views success in love as being granted into some sort of worthwhile hall of fame, another understandable and relatable sentiment here. “Got Me,” featuring Shane & Shane, is a straightforward devotional song about one’s confidence that God has got us even despite our flaws and stumbling. “Rose Needs A Jack” is a rousing and excellent song that reflects the need for love and intimacy by referencing the history of country as well as film. “Strong” is a devotional ballad that expresses the strength that the singer finds in her faith. “Pick Me Up” expresses the singer’s love and devotion and the way that religious and romantic love pick her up in relatable country terms. “Never Get It Back” expresses the relatable sentiment of having spent time and never being able to get it back, as an encouragement to make the most of it. The album then closes with a country rock version of “I Will Always Love You” that is lovely.
I was admittedly surprised by how much I like this album. There wasn’t a song on here I didn’t enjoy listening to, which is not something that I was honestly expecting. The album was a lot more positively focused than I expected, for one, given the singles and their approach. They really didn’t give a picture of how the album is really one that has a lot more praise and appreciation than might have appeared to be the case. This album has elements of pop country, which I expected, but also has quite a bit of country Christian and country rock that were a bit of a surprise to me. These elements were a welcome surprise to me, but a surprise nonetheless. Those listeners who do not like hearing lots of devotional odes to romantic love or spiritual devotions to God are not going to like what they hear. If you do find such sentiments welcome, there is a lot to enjoy here.