Search - Gretchen Wilson :: One of the Boys

One of the Boys
Gretchen Wilson
One of the Boys
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

Now this is more like it. A song-by-song retort to fans who might confine Wilson to some trailer-park queendom and to critics who might dethrone her for All Jacked Up, a half-hearted, hurried sequel to her quintuple-platin...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Gretchen Wilson
Title: One of the Boys
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Sony
Original Release Date: 1/1/2007
Re-Release Date: 5/15/2007
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
Styles: Today's Country, Country Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Other Editions: One of the Boys
UPC: 828768920121

Now this is more like it. A song-by-song retort to fans who might confine Wilson to some trailer-park queendom and to critics who might dethrone her for All Jacked Up, a half-hearted, hurried sequel to her quintuple-platinum debut, Gretchen Wilson's third album fires on all radio-ready-honky-tonk-and-hillbilly-rock cylinders. It's also a portrait of a tough, talented woman making her own way in what's still largely a man's, man's country world. She gets plenty of help from hot Nashville writers John Rich, Rivers Rutherford, and Vicky McGehee, but her working-class and feminist spin on country archetypes--temptation, whiskey, work, and Mom--is authentic and her own. Even when, as on the title track, she revisits "Redneck Woman," she retools the conceits with one of her best melodies. When she goes for the throat on "You Don't Have to Go Home," with a ripping fiddle line and an AC/DC guitar break, she's not just wailing last call: she's showing the whole honky-tonk who's boss. She still loves classic rock boogie--"Place in the Whiskey" quotes both Bob Seger and the melody of "Call Me the Breeze"--but she counters all the butt-kicking with solid ballads like "Heaven Help Me," "Pain Killer," and "To Tell You the Truth," her most heartbreaking and honest lyric. Funny, feisty, rocking and, best of all, true to herself, Wilson didn't really need a comeback album; nevertheless, she's made one that brings her all the way back. --Roy Kasten

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CD Reviews

Underrated, but another fine Gretchen Wilson album
Musac Critic | 07/23/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A little background before I ever review ONE OF THE BOYS for itself. Bear with me.

Honestly, this isn't the way it should've gone down for Gretchen Wilson. When HERE FOR THE PARTY bowed in 2004, it was the most (or atleast one of the most)anticipated country album(s) of the year. It slid in behind the unstoppable Usher who'd had the no. 1 spot locked for several weeks and sold 228,000, not bad for a debut artist. It spawned the massive crossover hit "Redneck Woman", which peaked in the top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, a very esteemed achievement for a country single. It propelled her debut album to multi-platinum status - approximately 4 million sold in just the U.S. alone. With the processes of propelling a debut artist to success with here debut album, all looked like it was set it stone that Gretchen Wilson was country's next big superstar in the league of Faith Hill or Shania Twain. Then 2005's ALL JACKED UP arrived to debut at no. 1 with 264,000, more than here debut. However, the "Redneck Woman" styled single "All Jacked Up" failed to rack up reviews even close to that of the single that made Gretchen Wilson, well Gretchen Wilson. Sure, the album didn't go unnoticed in the sense that it didn't sell, but how does 1.1 million compare to 4 million. Making a promising career's problems worse, ONE OF THE BOYS just maybe the sinker. With a tepid no. 5 debut and a devastatingly low 73,000 copies sold, first week sales and follow-up week sales of this fine country album by Wilson have been disappointing.

Sure, ONE OF THE BOYS is a credible, strong effort. But ONE OF THE BOYS lacks two things that made even the underrated ALL JACKED UP a moderate success. One, it lacks "Redneck Woman" which will probably never be replicated by Wilson, ever and two, it lacks anything that remotely sounds close to "Redneck Woman". Even ALL JACKED UP had "All Jacked Up", despite how unnoticed it ultimately went. It's that 'bad-girl' appeal that Wilson had on HERE FOR THE PARTY that disipated with her forthcoming albums that lost some of Wilson's fans. That coupled with the growing devastation of album sales has practically sunk ONE OF THE BOYS. Enough chit-chat about commercial success, let me discuss the album itself.

The album opens with "Girl I Am", which is solid G.W., though not as energized or as exhilarating as the openings of previous G.W. albums ("Here for the Party" and "All Jacked Up"). Vocally, Wilson is great and there is still an air of catchiness as Wilson sings lines like "I don't ever make apologies/ because I don't give a damn..." which leaves hope to the fans that left Wilson that the 'redneck woman' is still in her. "Come To Bed" features John Rich from none other than crazy country duo Big & Rich and the blend is magnificent between him and G.W. The songwriting is top-rate and the hook is more accesible for singing along here than it was on "Girl I Am". Sure, it isn't the second coming, but what is these days? "One of the Boys" serves to buck the trend with title-tracks and despite its conservative tempo, the songwriting is ever vigorous with its comical overtones and Wilson as always is at her best, 'redneck woman' or not. Three for three ladies and gents.

"You Don't Have to Go Home" is the best track up to this point from ONE OF THE BOYS with its country-rock feel and sick guitars. Despite the repetitive nature of the track, it keeps the air of 'traditionalist' country alive and that is very important. "Heaven Help Me" shows an even mellower Wilson (which seems to be an adverse effect for some fans unfortunatly) backed by acoustic sounds of piano, guitar, and strings. Despite her mellow turn, the bluesed-out "There's a Place in the Whiskey" is more production than vocal, but it is a welcome addition to G.W.'s catalogue of songs. Sure it's a bit too busy, but none can deny the potent nature of the blues licks. "If You Want A Mother" is solid while "Pain Killer" is a bit awkward, though still a solid track. What is notable about "Pain Killer", which is by no means my favorite track, is that vocally Wilson is at her strongest and the songwriting is nearly flawless. Eight for eight and still going strong.

"There Goes The Neighborhood" is a personal favorite of mine once again employing blues-influenced riffs. "Good Ole Boy" uses 'cutesy' songwriting, which the unstoppable G.W. pulls off perfectly. Finally the closer "To Tell You the Truth" is heavier in its overall tone as Wilson tackles serious songwriting, which may/may not be a hindrance. It isn't catchy like the rest of her tunes, but if you commit yourself as a true Gretchen Wilson fan, you will appreciate the message and the idea that Wilson is trying to emote on the closing track.

Overall, ONE OF THE BOYS would be a fine album if it was another country artist besides Gretchen Wilson, which is unfortunate. No, it isn't as memorable as her first and maybe in some respects as her underrated second, but it is still very fine in my eyes, despite what the charts or anybody says. I hope that ONE OF THE BOY'S commercial woes don't sink the career of a very promising, young country star. 4 stars."
Where You Are Could Be Where She Is
Lorenda Sue Patterson | Nashville, TN | 05/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This third CD may be Ms. Wilson's best project as a package. The songs are lyrically superior to some earlier work and delve deeper into heart and soul. While some men might find it difficult to identify with some of the tracks, there are others which men should appreciate. There is humor in "There Goes The Neighborhood" and "If You Want a Mother." There is the deepest of soul-searching in "Heaven Help Me" and "To Tell You The Truth." Each track has the ability to reach to the day-to-day aspects of life. Yet, while acknowledging the difficulties in the world of most people, these songs somehow leave one feeling that life can be good and whatever is bad isn't the end of the world. The sound on the album is crisp and clear. The instruments on this album are so skillfully utilized that you feel you've heard masterful playing and great vocal support. A great work from all those involved!"
Gretchen Grows!
Robert H. Woody | Omaha, NE United States | 12/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"ONE OF THE BOYS offers a collection of songs that documents musical superiority. Ms. Wilson continues to convey emotions beyond most, if not all, contemporary country performers. The lyrics for each musical story bares the performer's soul."