CD Review: Erica Blinn “Better Than Gold”

Currently calling the city of Nashville, Tennessee home, Erica Blinn is a singer-songwriter from Columbus, Ohio. Performing for the musician started rather young as she was only a teenager when she started playing the harmonica which would lead to her exploration of other instruments which includes the guitar, the instrument that she plays on stage when in concert. As a songwriter, Erica Blinn has released three albums: 2011’s self-titled EP, 2014’s Lovers in the Dust, and her most current album, 2018’s Better than Gold. It is that last album on which Blinn is currently touring.

The album of Better than Gold from Erica Blinn begins with the current single off the album called “Softer Side”. Right from the beginning Erica Blinn seems to be inviting the listener in with the song. The track has a very Pop-like approach to the Rock and Roll on the track. There is a rather strong presence from the keyboards on the track that help to add a bit of funkiness to the music. Together, the Funk influence and the Pop-Rock approach to the music combine to create a rather listener (as well as radio) friendly feel to the track.

Blinn continues her newest album with the track “Dance with the One (Who Brought You Here)”. While “Softer Side” contained a bit of funkiness to the music, this track finds Blinn drawing inspiration from the Blues. The track features a strong Blues/Rock blend that is helped along by the harmonica playing of Blinn. The harmonica adds the Bluesy feel to the music while the track already has a strong, driving pace. What results is a track that picks you up and seems to carry you along throughout the length of the track. With the Blues/Rock blend on the track as well as the harmonica that gives the track that bluesy feel, the track brings to mind a different Ohio native, Stacie Collins who creates music in much the same vein.

With the track “Dreamer’s Heart,” Erica Blinn writes a song that has a clear message to follow your passion, do what you like and don’t worry so much about what others think. The upbeat message is timeless in nature as it works no matter what year it is. The music to the track seems to be based in the Classic Rock genre and draws inspiration from the likes of Creedence Clearwater Revival and other bands from the late seventies/early eighties. And much like the message in the track, the music has a very uplifting quality to it, as well.

Many different musical influences are drawn from when Erica Blinn writing her songs. For the track “A Little Rain,” you easily hear some Country influence in the music as well as a bit of a drawl in Blinn’s vocal delivery. The Country twang even shows up in the music of the track. Together, the musical blend of Rock and Roll and some twang to the music creates a track that would be right at home on any Contemporary Country radio format. Especially since the lyrical content about taking the bad with the good would definitely be right at home on those formats.

Things slow down quite a bit on the track “Suitcases and Truck Stops”. On this track, Erica Blinn brings back a little of the sentiment that appeared in the song “Dreamer’s Heart” a little earlier in the release. On this track, Blinn sings about getting out there and experiencing the world. Sure, it comes after the breakup of a relationship, but sometimes that’s the best way to get over the heartache. The track features a strong guitar-based feel to the music. The slow-paced track allows for the electric guitar to create a definite groove in the music and allow for the listening to simply fall into the music as the song moves slowly along. It also allows for Blinn to stretch her vocal cords as she delivers some of the strongest notes on the Better than Gold album.

On the title track of the release, Erica Blinn creates a track that feels like it came directly off of the radio back in the eighties. The straight-out Rock and Roll delivery of the music on the track “Better than Gold” feels like something that could have been produced by the likes of either Susanna Hoffs and/or the band she was famous for creating with sisters Vicki Peterson and Debbi Peterson which would go on to be rather famous- The Bangles. “Better than Gold” is guitar-driven Rock and Roll that would fit right at home on today’s Rock and Roll formats just as much as it would have felt at home back in the eighties. In fact, you could image this track being the next single off of the release.

Speaking of singles off of the release, along with the aforementioned track “Softer Side,” another track off of the Better than Gold album that has been made into a video is the track “When I’m With Suzie (I Do What I Want)”. The track features lyrics about two women who are best friends going out on the town and, basically, raising a little hell. This track once again brings a lot of Rock and Roll feel to the music. And with the subject matter being what it is, you could easily see this song having been influenced by the likes of Shania Twain, shades of “I Feel like a Woman”. In fact, you could imagine Twain making this song her own. For those ladies who have a very independent spirit, this could be the Rock anthem you’ve been looking for.

With a title such as “Loving You,” one might imagine a track with a soft, gentle musical delivery with a romantic side to the lyrics. And while the final track of the Better than Gold album from Erica Blinn does contain that romantic feel in the lyrics, the music is anything but soft and gentle. The strong guitars, heavy bass and pounding drums on the track create a straight-out Rock and Roll song that happens to have romantic lyrics. With this song, Blinn seems to have decided not to be subtle with her feelings as she comes right out and says how she’s feeling. “Loving You” brings the album to a close on an upbeat and strong note.

The Better than Gold album Erica Blinn finds her creating songs that contain many different styles of music. From straight-out Rock and Roll to Pop-Rock with some funkiness to it, the various tracks on the album help give the album depth. And with those various musical elements, Erica Blinn’s abilities as a singer-songwriter comes through rather well. The album ends up being strong from beginning to end.

For a taste of the music from Erica Blinn, check out the song “Softer Side”.

 

To check out the entire Better than Gold album from Erica Blinn, click on the album cover below:

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