It must be hard being a country star outside of America. When people think country, they automatically think the U.S – but Australian country starlet Jasmine Rae seems to be doing a great job without the usual American heritage. Now bringing out her fourth record, Heartbeat, Jasmine treats us to a more evolved song writing process, backed up with plenty of good ol’ country.
Kicking off with Everybody Wants To Take My Money is a brave; to some people the title may seem brash and spoilt; this feeling, however, is all melted away within the first couple of minutes of the track. Soulful vocals set against a calming country verse lead into a rock-laden chorus with a voice of authority; it could be akin to something Nickelback might do, but Jasmine completes the task with more tenacity and guile.
Album-titled track Heartbeat was the first single from the album, and it’s plain to see why. Its country pop swagger instantly grabs you, and with lyrics based around the pressures of fame and fortune – and a strong message of following your dreams – it’s a track that Taylor Swift fans could relate to. This type of song has been done before many times, but Rae brings a sense of strength and freedom to the well-trodden ground. Lose You All Over Again sees the singer pouring her heart out and making no apologies for it, whereas This is Why Am In Love shows of Jasmine’s angry side, backed up with some great changes in rhythm and standout drumming.
So as you can see, there are a lot of different qualities to the record so far, all wrapped neatly in a country bow, and the country crossover vibe continues still on tracks like Zombie Love. Looking back for influence in the early days of blues, the music feeds into drumbeats and snaps set against harmonica to create an atmosphere of suspense. I’m not sure if the lyrics work as well as they can here, but the music is tumultuous in a great way, managing to rise and fall in all the right places. When I Found You manages to see the singer in much better lyrical territory, as the ballad track makes every step it can to become the albums top tear jerker: ‘every moment till’ this one right now fades in the shadow of the love that we found’.
Heartbeat is a real step forward for Jasmine. Having penned 10 out of the 12 tracks, her writing ability has really increased, and created a well-structured and meaningful record. Its testament to the fact that you don’t have to be from the U.S.A to make a great country album, and should hopefully get a few more people to stand up and listen to this globally rising star.