Published Jul 10, 2015Alee sounds like Taylor Swift's sassier little sister on her debut EP, Say Hello To Goodbye. Upon first listen, these six songs sound akin to much of the twangy, overly sentimental, slickly produced hits coming out of Nashville; no surprise, given that she recorded much of the EP in Tennessee's famed Music City with producer Dave Thompson of Autumn Hill and Lady Antebellum fame.
That style is very much not to my liking — I vastly prefer Outlaw country to the Tim McGraw types — but I can't deny that Alee makes effective use of that aesthetic on this EP, harnessing the earnest, modern, mainstream honky-tonk pop sound and turning out catchy earworms. Fans of the genre will surely adore it, but crucially, there's something here for outsiders, too, as Alee's true talents lie not only in her ability to conform to Nashville norms, but in the way she subtly adds here own spin.
These fiery moments have a sudden kick, like a smattering of spice sprinkled on a light and fluffy country pop soufflé. Looped hip-hop-esque beats drive the title track and "Moonshine," on which they juxtapose nicely (much to my surprise) with the song's acoustic mandolin strums.
Such small, unexpected turns set Alee apart from today's legions of bland mainstream country acts. Better still, her deftly unique combination of quirky moments and country-pop conventions just might be enough to bring good ol' cowpoke purists and the genre's most ardent haters together, as they hum along to Alee's catchy tunes. (Wax)