Reviewing a new artist’s first CD is a hard challenge because you have no previous releases that you can base your review off of. However, with Rae Solomon, there was really no challenge. This Northwest born ‘country-fied chick’ means business with her first album Long Road From The Emerald City, a true gem if there ever was one.
Providing us with six strong tracks, Solomon lets us into her world as we see that she’s a true country girl who shouldn’t be messed with in her lead-off track “Country-Fied Chick”. There are only two ballads on the album, which isn’t a bad thing if the two given are good enough. Luckily, in this album they’re more than good. “Powerful Woman” is a beautiful story of a woman learning how strong she is, while “After It All” describes a story of a woman trying to ‘find her way’ in life, as her hardships continue to build up and just wants to know that someone will be there at the end of things.
Solomon’s voice is something we aren’t hearing currently on country radio, but should easily be a great new addition. Her up-tempo songs really keep the album moving at a fast pace, with the ballads giving a perfect balance. The only downside I see in the album is that no track is longer than 3:48, as I feel the ballads are a bit short. The songs give us a lot, but it feels like there could be more to be said. However, if the only negative thing about the album is the length of a song, there really isn’t much wrong with the album.
Solomon has been hitting the road non-stop as of late, winning Seattle station KMPS’s ‘Country-oke’ contest and playing in major fairs and festivals. Her live energy in concert translates well into the album, which is a rarity today to get the feel of a concert inside of a CD.
This album truly should make a mark for Solomon, and as she continues to grow as a writer and singer, we can only expect bigger and better things in the future. Many artists look back and think their weakest album is their first, but in Solomon’s case, the bar is set high.
Final Grade: Buy The Album