Album Review

Carly Pearce - hummingbird

Born from a season of understanding, learning and letting go, Pearce's latest album is a representation of the growth and healing that’s taken place within in order for this album to take flight.

Holler Country Music
June 7, 2024 4:47 pm GMT

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Carly Pearce - hummingbird

Label: Big Machine Label Group

Producer: Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne & Carly Pearce

Release Date: June 7, 2024

Tracklisting:

1. country music made me do it
2. truck on fire
3. still blue
4. heels over head
5. we don't fight anymore (feat. Chris Stapleton)
6. rock paper scissors
7. oklahoma
8. my place
9. things I don't chase
10. woman to woman
11. fault line
12. pretty please
13. trust issues
14. hummingbird

The hummingbird, a tiny flurry of bejeweled feathers and bright buzzing, is said to be a harbinger of good luck, good things ahead and hope for the future. For this reason, Carly Pearce chose the striking avian as the emblem of her latest album, a representation of the growth and healing that’s taken place within in order for this album to take flight. Unfortunately, hummingbird never left the nest.

This batch of songs was supposedly born from a season of understanding, learning and letting go, but these 14 tracks paint Pearce as someone who’s never gotten over a thing in her life. This album finds her caught up in ex-bashing, sex-shaming and playing chicken with any real emotions.

While hummingbird begins with a lot of promise — the sunshiny opener ‘country music made me do it’ offers a charming glimpse at the artist’s relationship with the genre — that potential goes up in smoke with ‘truck on fire,’ a smoldering revenge tune that’s quickly extinguished by the tired Carrie Underwood-coined trope. From there, the album shuffles between uninspired ballads about being a woman scorned, like ‘rock, paper, scissors,’ or unconvincing “over you” anthems, like ‘heels over head’ and ‘woman to woman,’ often sung at someone else’s expense as she takes aim at cheaters, leavers or the women they wind up with.

It’s not all bad, though. Pearce’s honeyed voice is beautiful throughout the album, and her band put in work, giving life to some spectacular arrangements. Songs like ‘things i don’t chase,’ with its strong and decided chorus, and ‘trust issues,’ so full of butterflies and the tenderness other offerings sorely lack, also shine brightly. However, any lessons gleaned from them hinge on what some man did or didn’t do. It’s safe to say the album's highlights are the hummingbirds: the instant you catch a glimpse of them, they’re gone.

In truth, these would all be decent songs — every single one of them — if they weren’t being packaged and force-fed as coming from a place of some profound inner work. In the end, hummingbird is all plumage and no peck, too concerned with batting lashes and wringing hands than making good on any kind of wisdom the album promises.

5/10

Carly Pearce’s 2024 project, hummingbird, is available everywhere now via Big Machine Label Group.

For more on Carly Pearce, see below:

Written by Alli Patton
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