Etichetta: Monument Records
Having penned songs over the previous half-decade for everyone from Meghan Trainor to Garth Brooks, Minnesota-born Smith sets out on her own on her big-league debut, and not surprisingly winds up on the outer border of country. The most distinctive tracks might’ve played as adult alternative in the ‘90s: “St. Paul” (situated between fellow city songs about Nashville and Tacoma) sounds like early Suzanne Vega with Paul Simon Graceland chant rhythms; “Scenes From a Corner Booth at Closing Time on a Tuesday Night” like early Sheryl Crow with John Mellencamp “Pink Houses” melodic turns. Launch single “Contact High” has the boomingest beat, highest soul-diva notes, and most wink-wink lyric; closer “Cheap Date” offers slightly jazzy, sweetly sexy economic advice. Even more orthodox selections tend more urban, urbane, torchy, and intermittently orchestrated than the Nashville norm.