Count Jessi Alexander's unapologetically pretty, country-tilting debut among the growing crop of discs able to deliver those disenfranchised with modern music from their funk. She's not exactly a throwback -- lyrics rendered in a decidedly 21st century voice, especially those on "This World Is Crazy," which tips a sad hat toward tumultuous times, and "Unfulfilled," a clever ode to quiet desperation as experienced by the modern woman, lend her a vitality that stamps itself nearer the front of the mind than the back -- but this is music not self-conscious about celebrating its roots. Karla Bonoff seeps through the title track, and flashes of Linda Ronstadt work their way into the more swollen-hearted songs, like "Make Me Stay or Make Me Go." (All tracks were written or co-written by Alexander.) Roughed up by the more playful numbers, the creamy quality in her voice takes on a California sunniness that would sit well alongside early-era Jackson Browne, but it's her Tennessee heritage that hums to the surface most frequently. The clear-eyed confessions and gorgeously gauged jolts of rock and soul aside, in lighter moments Honeysuckle Sweet can call to mind a kooky but likable crosshatching of J.J. Cale and Patsy Cline.
AllMusic Review by Tammy La Gorce