Tresa Street,
Ain't Nothin' Changed
(AMI, 2001)

Tresa Street has a surprisingly rich voice. I mean that literally -- when the first lines of "Lie To Me" rolled out of my speakers, I was startled enough to stop the CD and check to make sure I had the right artist. This couldn't be a new artist; surely I'd have heard her on the local country stations. This had to be some classic country CD I'd overlooked. But no -- this was Tresa Street's Ain't Nothin' Changed.

This is country music, and there are the stereotype songs familiar to any country fan, the broken-hearted songs like "Lie To Me," the end-of-the-day party tune "Let's Go Dancing." But those who think that all country songs are ballads to loss will be surprised by the hopeful outlook in most of these songs. One of my favorites on the album, the rolling "Ain't Nothin' Changed," focuses on the often ignored joys of a happy, long-term relationship. The straight-up hilarious "Rockin' a Baby," with Tresa voicing an all too common woman's complaint of immature men, gets some of the best lines on the album: "I'd really like to spank you but you're too damn big ... I'm tired of rockin' a baby ... Gonna roll with a real man."

Tresa even manages to redeem a song I would have sworn I despised, the much-overplayed "I Believe I Can Fly." Her voice carries enough soul to change this song from a preachy pop anthem to the spiritual affirmation of faith the lyrics suggest it should be. The closest thing to a weak point in the album is the already-dated "Is That Your Final Answer?" with its obvious Who Wants to be a Millionaire references. It's possible that the catch phrase is so generic it will actually wear well and lose its game show connection, but the memory of Regis Philbin's grating voice intruded too much for me to enjoy this song.

Tresa Street is a fairly new artist, but her sound is already classic. Her music has no unnecessary frills, no long wailing solos, just heartfelt singing and tunes sliding gracefully from blues to rock 'n' roll in the way that only really great country can manage. It's not groundbreaking stuff, but when music sounds this right, ain't nothin' needs to change.

[ by Sarah Meador ]
Rambles: 19 April 2002

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