Sonically the song nods to Kellie's neo-traditional roots with some tasteful piano anchoring the melody as well as mandolin during the verses and pedal steel during the chorus to add some flavor. It takes a “less is more” approach, and that's probably the best thing they could have done given the subject matter. The personal nature of the song also naturally means that Kellie's vocal performance is sincere and full of power and raw emotion.
Like I said before, the theme is an easy one to guess. This is essentially Kellie honoring her grandmother and detailing how she had such a huge influence on making Kellie into the woman she is today. She recalls events such as picking buttercups from the garden as well as throwing tea parties with her grandmother as ways of remembering her before later stating how she wouldn't be half the woman she is if not for her grandmother. The thing with this song is that it is personal, and yet it's also highly relatable for anyone raised by their grandparents or even a single mother (like me). In that sense, it's one that I can see easily connecting to people and perhaps earning Kellie some much deserved buzz.
The weird part about this song is that it's essentially made for critics, and yet it's also seemingly critic proof. Still, you're going to make me say it aren't you? Oh you are... well, I will say that the choice to make it relatable instead of super personal may also be its small Achilles heel. I just think the first verse could have benefited from really detailing how Kellie's grandmother helped shape her into who she is rather than just listing events that she associates with her. Even a small personal event added on as an extra verse could have turned this great song into an excellent one.
I digress though, because this really is a beautiful tribute to Kellie's grandmother overall. It unfortunately won't do squat at radio, but it is a fantastic song that hopefully will serve as the lead single from Kellie's yet to be announced next album. Until then, this is a great return for Kellie, so welcome back.
Listen: "If It Wasn't For A Woman"
Author: Zackary Kephart