Do You Know
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.