Lee Ann Womack (album)

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Lee Ann Womack
Studio album by Lee Ann Womack
Released May 13, 1997
Genre Country
Length 39:36
Label Decca Nashville
Producer Mark Wright
Lee Ann Womack chronology
Lee Ann Womack
(1997)
Some Things I Know
(1998)

Lee Ann Womack is the self-titled, 1997 debut album from country singer Lee Ann Womack. The album was certified gold by the RIAA on January 16, 1998 and platinum on September 24, 1999. Hits that appeared on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart were "Never Again, Again" which peaked at #23, "The Fool" and "You've Got to Talk to Me" both at #2, and "Buckaroo" at #27. The album itself topped out at #9 on the Top Country Albums chart.

Background[edit]

Womack told The Dallas Morning News, "Success doesn't really surprise me because it always goes in cycles and comes back around to country. I was fortunate to be the one that they decided to open the door for a little bit, the one they allowed to do this traditional thing."[1] In another interview with The Dallas Morning News Womack revealed she recorded the album while her marriage was falling apart and said, "I hate to say that it was a bonus, but as terrible as it was - and it was going on while I was picking songs, while we were cutting the tracks, while I was doing vocals - I do think that pain did come across. I try not to pick songs that I can't deliver, that I don't understand, that I've not been through. The one thing that I want people to say about my music is that it's real."[2]

Womack told Billboard, "I wanted Mark Wright to produce me, because of that full, fat sound he gets."[3]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Never Again, Again" (Monty Holmes, Barbie Isham) – 3:44
  2. "A Man with 18 Wheels" (Bobby Carmichael, Leslie Winn Satcher) – 3:20
  3. "You've Got to Talk to Me" (Jamie O'Hara) – 3:38
  4. "The Fool" (Marla Cannon-Goodman, Gene Ellsworth, Charlie Stefl) – 3:32
  5. "Am I the Only Thing That You've Done Wrong" (Billy Joe Foster, Lee Ann Womack, Jason Sellers) – 3:48
  6. "Buckaroo" (Mark D. Sanders, Ed Hill) – 2:59
  7. "Make Memories with Me" (Satcher, Danny Stegall) – 3:33
  8. "Trouble's Here" (Jann Browne, Matt Barnes) – 3:08
  9. "Do You Feel for Me" (Tim Johnson) – 3:23
  10. "Montgomery to Memphis" (Billy Montana, Anne Reeves) – 4:41
  11. "Get Up in Jesus' Name" (Mike Curtis, Marty Raybon) – 3:51

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars Link
USA Today 3.5/5 stars
Belfast News Letter (favorable)
Entertainment Weekly (A) link
Billboard (favorable)
The Daily Mail (favorable)

David Zimmerman of USA Today gave the album three and a half stars and wrote, "Womack is a deep-country singer whose skill with heartbreak and confessional songs will prompt Lorrie Morgan comparisons. Womack is at her best immersed in hurting ballads like The Fool, but the truly beautiful song here is the old-fashioned duet Make Memories With Me, in which she holds her own with Mark Chesnutt as he pulls out his best heart-tugger vocal tricks.[4] Billy Kennedy of the Belfast News Letter wrote, "She combines tears and torment in her songs with some light-hearted lyrics and Nashville DJs who normally show a preference for crossover material have really taken to her."[5] Editors at Billboard gave the album a positive review and wrote, "This is a beacon for country music's journey out of the desert and into the Promised Land. Great voice, great songs, and great production make this one of the most impressive debut albums in some time. Lee Ann Womack pays homage to country's rich tradition without sounding retro. She can handle hard-driving, truck-driving tunes, gospel songs, and tender ballads with equal aplomb here." [6] Adrian Thrills of The Daily Mail also gave the album a positive review and wrote, "Texas-born Lee Ann Womack is a back-to-the-roots singer who brings spirit to uptempo songs and a poignancy to her ballads. Given that the self-penned Am I The Only Thing That You've Done Wrong is one of the sharper songs on this debut, it is a shame no more of her own compositions were included."[7] Mario Tarradel of The Dallas Morning News listed the album as the best country album of 1997 and wrote, "Country music should have heart, grit, emotion and realism. It should offer universal truths in four gripping minutes. Lee Ann Womack's first album delivers country's hallmarks with elegance and poignancy."[8] Dene Hallam of KKBQ said, "The singing is extraordinary, the material is extraordinary, and Mark Wright has produced the album of his life. I would be surprised if this album doesn't go triple-platinum."[9] Alanna Nash of Entertainment Weekly gave the album an A rating and wrote, "This native of Jacksonville, Tex., has more heart than any other new female country singer, and a passel of traditional-sounding songs that may just be good enough to turn Nashville's commercial tide.[10] David Hajdu also of Entertainment Weekly listed the album as one of the top of 1997 and wrote, If country had a breakthrough female this year, it was Womack, who combined Dolly's tremolo, Tammy's sob, and Reba's elongated vowels into a fetching tradition-based style. Her success--she's just gone gold--could help turn Nashville back to its hard-country roots.[11] Thom Owens of AllMusic gave the album three stars and wrote, " The slick, professional production helps make this self-titled album a pleasant listen, despite the fairly uneven songwriting, and Womack certainly has a voice that can make the mediocre sound appealing, which results in a winning debut."

Personnel[edit]

Compiled from liner notes.[12]

Background vocals[edit]

Strings performed by the Nashville String Machine, conducted by Carl Gorodetzky and arranged by Bergen White

Production[edit]

  • Produced By Mark Wright
  • Engineered By Robert Charles, Greg Droman, Jason Garner & Joe Hayden
  • Mixed By Tim Coyle & Greg Droman
  • Mastered By Hank Williams

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1997) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 9
U.S. Billboard 200 106
U.S. Billboard Top Heatseekers 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tarradel, Mario. The Dallas Morning News Rising country musicianshang their hats at home (December 27, 1997)
  2. ^ Tarradel, Mario. The Dallas Morning News THE OTHER Lee Ann Womack is a new kid who's been around the block (May 15, 1997)
  3. ^ Flippo, Chet. "Decca's Womack catches fire at radio." Billboard 109.14 (1997): 1. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 6 June 2011.
  4. ^ Zimmerman, David. USA Today Many-splendored 'Carnival!'; achingly intimate Womack (May 13, 1997)
  5. ^ Kennedy, Billy. Belfast News Letter Home from the Range - Just the ticket (May 16, 1997)
  6. ^ Billboard Album Reviews (May 24, 1997)
  7. ^ Thrills, Adrian. The Daily Mail Singing out soul revival (July 25, 1997)
  8. ^ Tarradel, Mario. The Dallas Morning News Mario Tarradel's Top Country Albums. (December 27, 1997)
  9. ^ Billboard Popular Uprisings (MARCH 01, 1997)
  10. ^ Stevenson, William, and Jeremy Helligar. "The week." Entertainment Weekly 379 (1997): 116. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 6 June 2011.
  11. ^ Hajdu, David. "Honor roll." Entertainment Weekly 411/412 (1997): 162. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 6 June 2011
  12. ^ Lee Ann Womack (CD booklet). Lee Ann Womack. Decca Records. 1997. 11585.