Why Not Me, by the Judds
Sometimes you don’t appreciate an artist fully until they are no longer around. While the Judds only released six studio albums between the mid 1980’s and the early 1990’s, when Winona Judd started her own immensely successful solo career, the mother-daughter duo had a lot of success and frequently performed live tours together. In fact, they were almost ready to start a farewell tour when Ashley Judd, the mother in the duo, lost a long-term battle against depression and took her own life. The result of that was an invitation to some of us to rank down all of the Judds albums, and as someone who has never listened to a full album by the duo, I thought it was a good opportunity to make myself familiar with an act whose influence and importance within country music was great even if the group never had a hit on the Hot 100 charts.
The album is a short one at only ten tracks, and begins with the title track, which is a ballad expressing the frustration of a woman that a guy has looked for love everywhere except with her. “Mr. Pain” is an interesting song about the perspective of viewing suffering as an unwanted lover, especially ironic in light of the death of Ashley Judd. “Drops Of Water” is a pleasant but rather repetitive song that repeats its title lyric as a hook. “Sleeping Heart” is a lovely and gentle ballad that seems really underappreciated by streamers, for whatever reason. “My Baby’s Gone” is a decent enough song that laments one’s partner leaving. “Bye Bye Baby Blues” continues along the same lines as the preceding song, while “Girls Night Out” celebrates its titular idea of girls going out and having a good time at a bar. “Love Is Alive” was a hit single from the album, a lovely song about the endurance if seeming vulnerability of love. “Endless Sleep” is a somewhat ominous song about death and losing one’s love, again, a song that appears particularly ironic in light of Ashley Judd’s passing. Finally, “Mama He’s Crazy” is a song that flips the question of craziness by pointing out how someone is crazy about the narrator.
By and large, this is an enjoyable album to listen to. To be sure, the album is not exactly groundbreaking. None of the songs are even close to all-time greats, but most of the album is made up of pleasing songs that reflect on life and love. There are literally tens of thousands of songs that deal with the same material as the ten songs on this album, and this song manages to do a familiar task well. I am not sure that I would have deliberately sought out this album were I not at least a bit of a country fan, and I would not think of this album as an all-time great, or this act as an all-time great, but all the same there are some solid songs here and the single choices, as well as songs like “Sleeping Heart” and “Endless Sleep,” are definitely enjoyable. And that is enough to make this a solid album.