Sonia Leigh is about to become a star.
That’s a bold statement, but this woman has been preparing for this moment her entire life. Sonia has been releasing music since 1998. During the last decade she has self-released four albums. She’s been building a strong fanbase over the years and has built herself up as a well respected artist.
Zac Brown found out about Sonia and signed her to his newly formed Souther Ground record label. Sonia recorded her first major label album and the first single, My Name Is Money, was released. That song is slowly working its way toward the top 40 on country radio. The album is about to be released on Tuesday and there are more great songs.
It’s going to be one of the best albums of 2011.
1978 December by Sonia Leigh Album Review
From the opening track it is evident Sonia Leigh is not your average country artist. She doesn’t sound like anyone else on the country scene today. Sonia is entirely her own artist drawing influence from rock, outlaw country, and southern soul.
The entire album is full of interesting imagery and plenty of emotion. Sonia’s voice is something fans will react to. She has this raspy quality. It sounds like her throat has been dragged through the very pit of some bars and taverns throughout the world. She comes off as rock girl with attitude, but there is everything country about Sonia as well.
The topics she addresses on the record – drinking, love, and pain – are all country song topics. If you’re a fan of gritty country with attitude this is an album you’ll really enjoy.
1. Ain’t Dead Yet
Great opening track. Ain’t Dead Yet sees the narrator in the song finding some advice from a guy out in California. He tells her that she’ll have to deal with a lot of bull in her life. We all have regrets in life, but the important thing to remember is to keep on making moves because we ain’t dead yet. There may not be a lot of time left, but there is plenty of time to make some changes for the better. It’s up to us to make things happen.
2. My Name Is Money
This was the first single release by Sonia Leigh. The song is climbing into the top 40 on the country charts. It’s a great introduction to Sonia Leigh and what she’s all about. Sonia is a southern rocking act with plenty of country soul. She takes on the topic of money and how everybody is always chasing that dollar. They’ll give up anything for just a few dollars more. I think somewhere along the line we all figure out that trying to get more money is a grind, but we’ll always keep trying to get more.
This is one of the more country songs on the record. Sonia is singing about her time spent in the local tavern. She’s sick of all the bull that’s going on around her. She’s heading out to drink away a few memories and there’s no looking back. Zac Brown joins her on the track, which he does on a few. Sonia is the highlight of the song, though. Her voice is front and center. This song should do well in the live shows. There’s a sing along aspect that people really love.
4. Ribbon of Red
It’s great that there are a few upbeat tracks on this record. Sonia is a pro and she knows people like a little fast-paced music in their lives. Ribbon Of Red is a love song. Sonia plays the part of the wishful woman wanting her man. She wants things to work out for the two of them. It’s a song about hope. People can save each other and I think that’s what’s going on here. The song is about finding that person that means everything to you. It’s about falling in love and completely losing yourself. People like hope and I think people will love this song.
5. I Just Might
The pace slows down for this track. I Just Might actually reminds me of some Steve Azar music. Steve is a fellow southerner. Sonia’s song has plenty of that soul and easy going attitude. I Just Might is about two people that know they shouldn’t spend the night together. The woman in the song is really trying to fight off her feelings. She’s hoping the guy doesn’t call her up tonight. She’s hoping she doesn’t say anything she might regret. She knows they don’t need to get together tonight, but even if he says one thing she knows they just might.
It’s difficult for artists to avoid writing about their lifestyle as artists. These kinds of songs have worked in the past and will probably always work. What these songs need is a good, catchy melody and a relatable story. Virginia is a song about playing songs for a living, but working to get away for a little bit of time. That’s a story people see as real. They know this is how Sonia is living. And everybody works to get away sometimes. That’s an aspect of life people can connect with. It’s a great emotion to think that it’s Friday and you’re ready to hit the road to see good friends. And the melody on this track is great. It’s one of the highlight songs on the record.
7. A Poem From The Ocean Floor
Sonia turns on the twang for this one. It’s a little campy with the old school country melody. It reminds me of a classic road song from the ’60s. The beat keeps trucking on like the sound of a train slowly working its way down the tracks. The song is light. It’s airy. There is a lot to like. Sonia is once again singing about relationships and the way things can feel between a man and woman. It’s positive feeling for the most part, but sometimes we drive each other crazy. That’s how it works.
8. I Won’t Tell
Now this is a cool track. Right from the opening music you know it’s different. You aren’t hearing anything like I Won’t Tell on country radio. Sonia’s hard edged attitude comes through on this song. The song is about two people falling for each other. They decide they aren’t going to tell the world about their secret love. It’s going to stick between the two of them. This song is so sneaky. It sounds wrong. People are going to love it. There’s something romantic about being a little naughty.
Zac Brown makes another appearance on this laid back country track. Earlier this summer I had the chance to see the Zac Brown Band live. He brought Sonia out on stage and the two performed this song. If you are a fan of ’70s easy listening rock and adult contemporary music you’ll like this song. It’s got that breezy feeling that makes you want to kick back in the lawn chair and just enjoy the day. Sometimes that’s what life is all about.
10. 1978 December
The title track finishes out the set. It’s a coming home song. It’s about going back home to your roots. Sonia was born in 1978 December. She’s heading back home to see where she was raised. She’s hoping she’ll be accepted back. She was born trying to leave and make a name for herself. Now she just wants to see a little glimmer of home. It’s comforting.
I think this was the perfect way to finish out the album. It’s been a long journey for Sonia. She’s been everywhere and now she’s finally become a country star. Now it’s time to take things to the next level just like her record label boss.
Download 1978 December Album
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