Emma Jacob - 2,232 Miles

Emma Jacob has come a long way since she debuted in 2007 as Emma Mae.  She's grown into her voice and 2,232 Miles, her full debut, showcases just how far this talented young singer has grown in those two short years.

“Julianna” is the lead single from the album and while it’s struggling to find an audience at radio as of this review’s writing, the song is nonetheless an important song for young girls and women to listen to.  The chorus of the song says “Julianna, you don’t have to do that to be loved, Juliana, Oh I wish you knew you were enough” as it details all the things women do to ‘feel beautiful’ and ‘pretty.’   It’s a song of empowerment and also shows off the power that is present in Emma Jacob’s voice (it’s like a cross between Martina McBride and Jo Dee Mesina).  “Walking Shoes” is a song that’s as fun as the previously mentioned songs and while it’s completely different from “Julianna,” the song too is a strong message of female empowerment as Emma sings about a woman who won’t take the load of crap her soon-to-be-ex is trying to tell her.  The song features a punchy, rhythmic melody that recalls Miranda Lambert’s style of country music without ever feeling like a copy-cat.  If this one gets released after “Julianna,” I’d be surprised if it didn’t gather some sort of audience at radio. 

Written by and originally recorded by Rachel Proctor, “Didn’t I” is a track that finds Emma questioning what went wrong in a relationship as the song describes an often told feeling that women have when a relationship comes to an end, that they are the reason for a relationship when, really, if a guy breaks up, it usually isn’t the woman who is the problem but rather the fact that the man wasn’t ready to commit to the woman for what may be a variety of their own personal reasons.  One of my all-time favorite Blackhawk songs, written and originally performed by principal songwriter Dave Robbins, is the tender ballad “If That Was A Lie.”  Here is a song where Emma Jacob’s voice shines as she sings sweetly heartbreaking lyrics, over cascading steel guitar.  There truly isn’t a ‘bad’ song on 2,232 Miles and if Emma Jacob can connect with radio and fans with the right song, there will be another truly talented (and deserving) vocalist with the vocal power of a Faith Hill, Martina McBride and Carrie Underwood along with the strong song-picking and interpretive skill of a young Reba McEntire or Jo Dee Messina.