As for Jacqueline, she's been floating under the radar for the past couple years now making solid, modern Pop-Country tunes with some real bite and texture to them. She got her shot last year with Big Loud Records and has readied the release of her debut single, “Reasons”. Thankfully, this is a strong choice for a debut single.
In terms of the production, you may think this is nothing revolutionary, and by all means, it isn't. It gets away with being purely solid though even if it is familiar. There's a nice whistling riff backed up by a spacier piano and some hand claps. The mix equals a nice, blended atmospheric sound, and the minor chords used help to give off a more serious tone. It's not the most unique sound in the world, but it works.
Vocally, Jacqueline shows what a hell of a voice she's got on the chorus by really giving an excellent performance that feels like she's invested in the material. Enough can't be said about how well she handles the performance here.
The lyricism is easily the highlight of this track though. While some tracks in this vein try to solve the problems evident in a relationship and think that everything will magically work out, “Reasons” takes a different approach by just being honest. Sometimes love doesn't work out, and instead of pretending that they still love each other for various (specific) reasons given throughout, they both decide it's just best to end it. It might sound pointless, but the entire point of the song is to explore why they stuck it out as long as they did, and again, we get some honest, specific reasoning here. Both of them are afraid to be alone, and both of them are afraid of the judgment that might be cast on them by friends and family. Plus, there's also the hassle of having to move to a different place and start anew. Still, at this point, they've both decided it's best to just move on despite whatever potential consequences there are, and I do appreciate that honesty and maturity.
Overall, “Reasons” might not “sound” like a unique breakthrough hit, but it hits the right marks elsewhere in terms of a commanding vocal presence and excellent lyrical content. It might be too polished for some, but this is a strong debut single.
Author: Zackary Kephart