Co-written with Don Goodman and Brad Wolf, “Hollywood Movie Moment” is one of three tracks co-written by Mickie for this Strangers and Angels project. While it’s tenuous to call the track a country single, it does melodically recall Bryan Adams’ “Run To You” while the lyrics tell a dramatic end to a relationship. “I Call The Fight” features a boxing metaphor for the way a toxic relationship is wearing at the narrator. The title tune “Strangers and Angels” was written by Chris Thompkins, Jess Cates and Kara DioGuardi (of American Idol) and it is without a doubt one of the highlight tracks on the album. Not only is the lyrical content strong and heartfelt but Mickie’s voice fits the ‘power ballad’ feel of this song. The message really tells us to slow down and appreciate the things we have in life and to not ignore what we have in the moment we’re living in.
“Make Me Feel Like A Woman” recalls Shania Twain’s “Honey I’m Home” while “I’m No Good At Pretending,” another track co-written with Don Goodman and Brad Wolf, finds Mickie being honest about a relationship. The melody of the latter song is driven by delicious fiddle fills and a honky-tonk backbeat that drives the song along. “Fallin Over Again” is a steel-soaked ballad about realizing how a relationship should only get stronger with time and how the narrator continues to fall in love with her man once again. The record ends with “Dumb Bitch,” a song that Mickie said “stood no chance at radio” during her CD release party. Written by Amanda Williams and Stacy Donahue, “Dumb Bitch is a slice of female southern rock that is brutally honest about the way a woman tries to take Mickie’s man when she turns her back for a second. It’s full of that attitude that starts the album off but it’s a situation that many women can relate to when there is that one woman who tries to steal men away from other women.
While Strangers and Angels isn’t likely to garner a plethora of awards, it’s far from a bad album. Will it appeal to everyone? Not likely. But this is the great thing about music, what is great to one person won’t be great to the next person. Strangers and Angels is a solid debut album from Mickie James and it shows her potential to pack stages across America with a different talent than what people have come to know her for. It may even surprise a few people along the way.
Key Tracks: “Strangers & Angels,” “Dumb Bitch,” “Fallin’ Over Again,” “I’m No Good At Pretending.”