New Country: Karen Waldrup — ‘Justified’

Karen Waldrup — Justified

There’a nothing better than a new album that has the effect of an old favorite. Put it on and suddenly you’re surrounded by vocals that sound like a good friend who never quite phones often enough, and songs that make you press “repeat.” Such is the case with singer/songwriter Karen Waldrup’s full-length debut, Justified. She is a major new talent, and she is in very good hands with this project — it’s produced by the one and only Garth Fundis. Fundis has always known that the song is everything, and that a good artist is best showcased when the song’s needs come first. Both are the case here.

The eleven songs offered on Justified cover impressive territory, from ballad to uptempo to honky-tonk to a touch of country soul. The album’s title track is a scorcher that should get Waldrup the attention she deserves. The other standouts are the party anthem “What Goes On In This Bar (Stays In This Bar)”, and “Sometimes He Does,” a track written by Lori McKenna with longing chords that take the listener on a journey of self-discovery and, ultimately, make emotionally satisfying sense. But my personal favorite is the vulnerably proud “Parker Presley.” It’s three minutes and fourteen seconds of sweet contemporary country music that is instantly classic.

And then there’s the voice. Oh, boy, what a voice. Karen Waldrup has a honey filled, crystal clear as a bell, voice that soothes, warms, flirts, comforts, and inspires. It’s the kind of instrument that Nashville was built on. Think I’m overstating things? Give the album a listen… you’ll find my undoubting words totally justified.

To purchase this album on Amazon, click here.

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