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Brooke Barrettsmith
Artist: Brooke Barrettsmith
Label: Essential
Time: 34:52

When I first saw this CD described as a “female version of Chris Daughtry or Jeremy Camp,” I was scared this was going to be a growling rock chick. Fortunately, Brooke Barrettsmith doesn’t seem to sound like Daughty. What she does share with this American Idol finalist is that she too made the Top 40 of the hit musical reality series. But Brooke has to face the question that all contestants must face: can participation in American Idol alone lead to a successful solo career?

If her self-titled debut CD is any indication, Brooke Barrettsmith is off to a good start. The album starts of with the fast paced “Right Now,” an Avril-like rock song. The next track, “More Real,” would fit right into a Kelly Clarkson album. The standout track is “Quiet My Heart,” which Barrettsmith penned with Jason Ingram and Rob Hawkins. 

As the album progresses, Barrettsmith begins to separate herself from her fellow female rockers. She establishes herself throughout the disc as not only a great vocalist, but a songwriter who can hold her own as an artist. Working also to her advantage is her well-chosen producers including Aaron Sprinkle (Kutless, Jeremy Camp) and Hawkins (Firelight).

Brooke Barrettsmith will only be able to ride the American Idol wave so far. She has the talent and it seems even a little of the “it” factor. Time will tell if she’ll be able to find that consistent fan base on which to build a career. And as her song “Breakthough” says, “However long it takes, I’m not giving up.” 

Shawn Dickinson 
Date Submitted: October 8, 2008


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