|Jamie O'Neal - Shiver CD Review|
Shiver is Jamie O'Neal's debut album. It may be our first listen to her as an artist, but it's not the first as a songwriter. O'Neal has written songs that were recorded by LeAnn Rimes, Chely Wright, and Tammy Cochran. She's also recorded background vocals on records by Mindy McCready, Clay Davidson, Jason Sellers, Chely Wright, Ronnie Milsap, Sonya Issacs and others.
Prior to her moving to Nashville to pursue a career in country music, Jamie toured with Australian pop-singer Kylie Minogue all over the world for two years.
This album is an eclectic mix of songs. Some are power ballads, some are bluesy, some are even somewhat gospel-like, but Jamie does each style well, and the album definitely works.
Jamie's voice reminds me of a young Faith Hill. She has a breathy quality to her voice, but it's also powerful, like Martina McBride. She's a pleasure to listen to.
The album consists of thirteen songs, nine of which she co-wrote. Not bad for a debut album!
The album starts out with the upbeat "When I Think About Angels," which gets you singing along quickly. This song has single written all over it, and I think it would be a great follow-up to "There Is No Arizona."
The first single, "There Is No Arizona" tells in haunting vocals about the difficulty at believing that all you've been told were just lies. As I write this review this song is moving up the Billboard Hot Country Singles charts, currently at 16.
"Where We Belong" is another wonderful ballad, not to be confused with the Bob Segar song.
In "No More Protecting My Heart," you may be reminded of Taylor Dayne's "Tell It To My Heart."
The next song, "She Hasn't Heard It Yet," is about a woman that refuses to hear that her relationship is over.
Another upbeat number, "You Rescued Me" talks about thinking there is no love out there for you, and you are presently surprised.
The title track, "Shiver," starts with a great steel guitar intro, and the ballad is awesome! "It shakes me how you take me, deeper than I've ever been, it's to the core, under my skin I shiver." This is another one that I can easily see as a single.
"The Only Thing Wrong" was co-written by Richard Marx, and Jamie sings this with a bluesy feel.
"I'm Still Waiting" is a passionate ballad about a woman that keeps waiting for her lover to come back.
One of my favorite songs on the album has to be the duet with Mark Wills. Jamie and Mark's voices blend perfectly, and this ballad is perfect for both of them. Mark, known for his ballads sings this to perfection, and Jamie is no slouch in the ballad department, and sings her part just as well. What I really like is that this is a TRUE ballad in that both singers get equal time, plus on the chorus they switch off with the harmony parts. This is a single for sure.
Sanctuary is a great power ballad! "You are my sanctuary, my beacon in the night. You opened up your heart, you let me walk inside."
Frantic is great fun! She likes things fast and furious. "Coffee black, microwave it. I'm at my best caffeinated."
The album closes with another love song, "To Be With You."
For those of you who listen to your CDs on your CD ROM, this album is an ECD which includes Biography, Lyrics and Music, Jamie's video for "There Is No Arizona," a Screensaver and links.
I'm giving this album a 4 7/8. Jamie's got a great bunch of songs here, and I'm sure that she'll be able to have several singles off the album.