Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood have made the world safe again for teen or young twenty something female (and a few male) artists. Like when labels started targeting younger audiences after LeAnn Rimes’ success, the current trend finds labels looking for another Taylor Swift when there can’t possibly be another person just like Taylor. While most labels are finding girls who are blonde and talented, MCA Records went a little different route with 22-year-old singer/songwriter (and brunette) Mallary Hope. Featuring production that is steady yet thoroughly modern and slightly grandiloquent in places, “Love Lives On” tells the story of a woman who is trying to figure out to go on with life after the tragic loss of her husband.
Despite the fact that the song doesn’t tell us how the husband passed away (thus leaving the song universal), Mallary Hope is able to sell the song with her powerful and passionate vocal that recalls a younger Faith Hill. Although not as memorably melodic as Diamond Rio’s similar “You’re Gone,” “Love Lives On” is nevertheless a song that can and should do well at radio (and in video form) as Mallary Hope comes fully developed and ready to bloom with this song she co-wrote with Shane Stevens and Matthew West.