The old cliché about young artists displaying talents beyond their years sure seems like a truism in the case of Honest Words, the debut album of 23-year-old singer/songwriter/guitarist Megan McCormick. Raised in Wasilla, AK, she represents the very real possibility that Sarah Palin will not be that town's only legacy to the world at large. McCormick grew up in a musical family -- not only did her parents play, but apparently her grandparents are in the Western Swing Hall of Fame. Being immersed in music from an early age may go some way toward explaining the precocious nature of McCormick's talent. And the country side of her roots might be what moved her to her current home base of Nashville, but while there are some undeniable country influences in her music, there's a lot more going on throughout Honest Words. The album's opening track, "Shiver," is a sinuous, bluesy stomper that gives a hint of McCormick's guitar mastery. Her six-string abilities are showcased a bit further on "Drifting," and the hard-driving "Addiction" shows the rock & roll side of McCormick's sound. The chugging, optimistic "Do Right" seems like the sort of tune that could have "country chart-topper" written all over it, if radio programmers were willing to listen through the album's eclectic mix of styles. The dark, intense "Pick Up the Phone" takes the dangers of drinking and dialing to almost epic proportions. And while the preponderance of ballads on Honest Words does tend to drag down the momentum a bit, false steps are hard to find in McCormick's emotionally honest, musically direct mix of country, rock, blues, pop, and folk.
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AllMusic Review by James Allen