Jessica Lea Mayfield Needs Better Songs
Yes, she has a great voice…and yes, she has a vibe. But let’s indulge some fantasy. Let’s say Dusty Springfield and Jessica were on the same live billing …I’m sure Dusty would give her the once over and say ‘Listen, bitch…don’t get too close to my shit.’ Meaning …yeah,vocally Jessica Lea Mayfield is da bomb. The productions are also mmm…quite tasty. But what’s missing in this magical soup?…the secret ingredient that spawns historical musical icons? Ahh…that one tiny little thing...
Not just any songs. Amazing Songs. Historical songs.
That’s what Jessica is missing here, and that’s what’s holding her back. (um, Joss Stone, are you listening too?)
Let me riff on this some more. Let's look at those amazing country/blues/Americana singers who came before Jessica…for instance Ms. Springfield. Quite a good barometer of country /soul singers, wouldn't you say?
When making her album Dusty Springfield I'm sure asked for…no, she probably DEMANDED the very best songs that were available at the time to be recorded…period. I could just hear her saying 'Hey, I need that 'Windmills of My Mind' song I just heard from Alan and Marilyn Bergman' or 'We need to record 'Just A Little Lovin' by from Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil…and ahh right, get Carole King and Gerry Goffin and Burt Bacharach and Hal David on the phone too. Tell them I need their best shit!'
And that's exactly what I think Jessica needs. She needs the superstars and legends of songwriting to complete the team. But alas on this playing field, there's no one quarterbacking this team in the song department…and Brett Favre just left town.
Instead what we get here are more or less Dusty Springfield B Side tracks. Songs not fit for a potential iconic caliber vocalist that Jessica is reaching for. I know she's only 21 but I really want to hear what she would sound like on some amazing songs.
And yeah…OK, I know she has the cred factor with her involvement with Black Keys, Danger Mouse, etc. But it doesn't matter. Without great songs, a great message, emotional, human reaching lyrics…No one cares about 'just' a great voice.
I don't. Do you?