Mindy McCready - I'm Still Here (Album)
By: Matt Bjorke
“I’ve come to terms, I’ve made amends, I’ve asked for forgivness for my sins, I’ve never shoulda let you in, been wrong before, I’ll be wrong again…” With those simple words, the album kciks off with the Helen Darling and Gary Burr co-write “Wrong Again.” With a haunting acoustic based melody backing her up, with this one track Mindy shows that she still is one talented vocalist and perhaps because of all her troubles, she’s an even better vocalist now than when she arrived at 19ish with “Guys Do It All The Time” and “Ten Thousand Angels,” both songs which get a reprise here. Whitney Duncan’s co-write with Blu Sanders “By Her Side” is a pretty tune that is complimentary to Mindy’s voice while her first single from the project, “I Want A Man” is also one of three songs co-written by Mindy. It’s a bluesy spirited track about the exact kind of man she wants while Mindy reveals a vocal style that recalls Wynonna or co-writer Robin (Lee) Bruce in places.
The touchstone track on the album is, without a doubt, one of Mindy’s other co-writes, “I’m Still Here,” the title track of the record. It is the kind of redemptive ballad that can go so wrong unless the singer has actually felt the lyrics they’re singing, which Mindy obviously has because she’s lived every word of the song. It’s the best thing about this record and really could be a hit if the right folks got behind it because there are so many people who can relate to living through struggles like the ones Mindy is singing about. She also sang this one on the Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew show. Mindy’s cover of the Garth Brooks classic “The Dance” is haunting and the cello and other strings backing her up actually suit the song quite nicely. It’s hard to cover an iconic song like this and she has managed to do it quite nicely. “Fades” is an interesting slow-burning torch ballad that feels like another piece of redemption on Mindy’s road to recovery.
While It’d be easy to dismiss Mindy McCready’s latest album as a ‘cash grab’ by a record label after her highly public appearance on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew but after listening to I’m Still Here completely through, it’s evident that this record isn’t quite that type of project. It’s not a game-changing album from Mindy but it does show Nashville that if she can keep herself sober, Mindy is still very much somebody worth paying attention to and hearing on the radio.