RMG - 2003 - 42 minutes

The recent blurring of musical genres has thrown up all kinds of wonders - popsters Leann Rimes and Shania Twain qualify as country singers and Norah Jones has taken jazz into a new dimension, where it rivalled mainstream pop. It might seem that anything goes in these strange musical times, but perhaps this album stretches even the most liberal idea of genre-blurring.

Mindy Smith is a prime example of a mixed-up musical world. Strongly country, she manages to inject gospel, soul and roots music into her style. It makes for challenging listening. While her voice is beautifully soulful, its pitch and dominance is often unsettling, and the variety of the tracks feels stretched.

Renowned for her Dolly Patron tributes, Mindy Smith has a Nashville country twang that seems more suited to softer ballad material than to many of the high-pitched tunes ('Fighting for It All', 'Train Song') she chooses. Offerings like 'Angel Doves' and the subtle 'Down In Flames' have a little-exploited style that seems to suit her better.
This album demands concentration, draining the senses rather than fulfilling them.

Linda McGee

Tracklisting: Come To Jesus - Falling - Raggedy Ann - Fighting For It All - Train Song - It's Amazing - Angel Doves - Down In Flames - Hurricane - Hard To Know - One Moment More.