Do You Know

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For country music, 2008 has been the Year of the Blonde. Kellie Pickler, Jessica Simpson, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Julianne Hough, Jewel, Miranda Lambert—country is suddenly awash in confident, fair-haired young women. It’s a phenomenon that has boosted country’s pop-culture cachet while giving women more of a radio presence than they’ve had for several years, and two new releases suggest it still has some legs. Former pop star Jessica sometimes sounds like she’s trying a little too hard on her country debut, Do You Know. But her voice has power and (more importantly) personality, and the songs are solid pop-country fare with a lyrical emphasis on sensuality and self-esteem.

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