That Girl

The lead singer of country duo Sugarland strikes out on her own with an album that lets loose her soaring vocals. The titular track is one of those songs that demands that the listener buy the album. The smoky number paints Nettles as an unstoppable sultry force, an image that the lyrics quickly revoke: “I’m not the scarlet devil/ I don’t want to take your man.” The juxtaposition of the deceptively devious delivery and the angelic actuality bolsters both sides, leaving the song electrified with emotion. Nettles’ evocative voice creates moods and feelings that complement the lyrics and add an extra dimension to the songs. She brings playfulness to the ugly “Jealousy” and turns the Internet-gossip-fueled “Know You Wanna Know”—with its decree of star worship and lack of privacy—into a swinging dance number. Many of the songs feature a more subdued approach, often little more than a simple acoustic accompaniment. On tracks such as “Thank You” and “Like a Rock,” the slower tempos conjure up a bittersweet sorrow that seems all the more powerful interspersed with bursts of Nettles’ strong voice. In its ups and downs, That Girl is fully charged, leaving listeners filled with potential energy buzzing from beneath their headphones.