It took previous "Voice" winners Javier Colon, Jermaine Paul, and Cassadee Pope around six months after their respective victories to release their debut singles. But Republic Nashville/Big Machine ain't wasting any time with Season 4 champ Danielle Bradbery.
The teen country crooner was crowned literally only three weeks ago, but her first single, "The Heart of Dixie," is already out. The song hit the Interweb on Monday, and the full single goes to radio this week.
There are some major Nashville heavyweights between this tune: It was penned by Brett James (who's co-written number-one country hits for Martina McBride, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, and others); Troy Verges (co-writer for Carrie Underwood, Hunter Hayes, and dozens of other country A-listers); and Caitlyn Smith (one of the songwriters behind Cassadee Pope's country-pop single, "Wasting All These Tears"). Interestingly, Brett James and/or Troy Verges are responsible for three of the songs Danielle memorably performed on "The Voice": Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel" and "Wasted," and Jessica Andrews's "Who I Am."
However, "Dixie's" subject matter — about a fed-up, neglected wife leaving her loser lush of a husband — doesn't seem like the perfect match for a sweet 16-year-old who won America's hearts and votes singing songs about grandpas and mamas and the good ole days. Lyrics like "She had a dead-end job at the national bank/And a deadbeat husband who always drank/So when he didn't come home he had the gin to thank/For the tears in her eyes/So Dixie packed up and said her goodbyes"…well, they don't sound entirely convincing coming out of Danielle's innocent mouth, even if her actual voice sounds as sublime as ever.
But that being said, the song sounds commercial but still actually sounds country (unlike many crossover-country songs nowadays that have barely even a hint of twang), and it's smart that her label got something out so quickly, especially since "The Voice" is a biannual show and a Season 5 winner will be coming along soon enough to possibly steal some of Danielle's thunder.
Will Danielle be the "Voice" winner to finally break through? Listen to a preview of "The Heart of Dixie" and let me know what you think...