Entertainment Weekly (4/12/96, p.69) - "...a style that blends the vocal cadences of Reba McEntire with the lyrical worldliness of K.T. Oslin....A most welcome debut." - Rating: B+
Personnel: Jo Dee Messina (vocals); Larry Byrom, Danny Parks (acoustic guitar); Dan Huff, Brent Rowan (electric guitar); Sonny Garrish (steel guitar, dobro); Glen Duncan (fiddle); Steve Nathan (piano, keyboards); Matt Rollings (piano); Mike Brignardello, Glenn Worf, Bob Wray (bass); Lonnie Wilson, Kenny Aronoff, Milton Sledge (drums); Tom Roady (percussion); Curtis Young, Cindy Walker, Stephony Smith (background vocals).
Engineers: Julian King (tracks 1-5, 7-8, 10); Russ Martin (track 6); Byron Gallimore (track 9).
Country singer Jo Dee Messina has been voted top new female vocalist by the Academy of County Music, and walked away with the Country Music Association's Horizon Award. Before then she made her full-length debut into the music world with this 1996 self-titled album. Producers Byron Gallimore and well-known singer Tim McGraw oversaw the recording. The resulting album was an impressive outing for Messina. On this recording, music lovers can enjoy country ballads like "He'd Never Seen Julie Cry," "On a Wing and a Prayer," and "Every Little Girl's Dream," as well as upbeat, energetic pop-flavored numbers such as "Do You Wanna Make Something of It" and "Heads Carolina, Tails California." The latter is an early favorite of many Messina fans. After such a great first effort, it wasn't surprising that her next album, I'm Alright, released two years later, went double platinum. ~ Charlotte Dillon