View the original review at: http://www.countryweekly.com/reviews/im-still-here
After an eight-year hiatus plagued by scandal, relationship abuse and addiction, Mindy returns with a somewhat veiled look into her struggles. While fans undoubtedly want to see a victory over her demons, lyrics like It’s a habit that I can’t defend / Been wrong before, I’ll be wrong again (“Wrong Again”) suggest the singer is still struggling. Much of this ballad-heavy album alternates between smoldering, pining love songs like “I Want to Love You” and “Fades,” and powerful yet regretful tunes like “By Her Side” or the ironically upbeat groove of “I Hate That I Love You.” The album peaks with the liberating “I’m Still Here,” which Mindy began writing while incarcerated, and a theatrical cover of Garth Brooks’ “The Dance,” though Mindy’s respectfully nuanced vocal doesn’t keep pace with the original. While Mindy’s smoky, vulnerable voice cannot compare to vocal powerhouses like Carrie Underwood, it still sounds strong and confident. After hearing this hodgepodge of songs, it is unclear if we can say the same for Mindy.