Heidi Newfield: 'What Am I Waiting For' – Album Review
When Heidi Newfield announced that she was leaving the successful country music group Trick Pony in favor of a solo career, she did so knowing things could go one of two ways: she could completely fail like many other artists who have made the decision to go solo or she could become a success in her own right. Thankfully for Heidi, her path took the successful route. With her solo debut What Am I Waiting For, Heidi makes her statement as a solo artist and with her unique voice, she also manages to establish her own blues-influenced country sound.
“Can’t Let Go” leads off the album with a bluesy beat. Women especially will identify with this song which tells the story of a relationship coming to an end. Both parties know it is over but even when he crosses the final line, she still can’t quite let go. “When Tears Fall Down” follows it on the track listing – a song about knowing how to say and do all the right things to please a man yet having no idea how to move on when the relationship is over and the tears begin to fall.
Heidi’s debut single, “Johnny & June”, is one of the most well-written songs to hit country radio in a long time. Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash are the love story of country music. Their love defied all odds, leaving hope for others that they too will find a love like theirs one day. The song is a tribute to them with ties to their history, everything from a mention of a ‘man in black’ to ‘kicking the footlights out’. The chorus itself makes a statement: I want a love like Johnny and June, rings of fire burning with you | I want to walk the line, walk the line, till the end of time. | I want a love, love you that much, cash it on in, give it all up and when you’re gone, I want to go too, like Johnny and June. Everyone wants a love like Johnny and June’s.
In what could be a song paralleling her decision to leave Trick Pony and strike out on her own, Heidi ponders what, exactly, is keeping her in the same place in “What Am I Waiting For”. In many ways, there is nothing new about the concept - a small town girl with big city dreams. But Heidi’s powerful, unique voice gives the song power and it is easily one of the album’s best. “Wreck You” is another song to which Heidi’s voice gives the message a powerful boost.
Closing out What Am I Waiting For is the hard hitting “Knocked Up”. This is Heidi at her best as her feisty side comes out and she sings about the potentially touchy topic of getting pregnant and subsequently married at a shotgun wedding. This song has an edge and the potential to be a big hit on country radio.
Leaving Trick Pony was a decision that was not made lightly and for Heidi, it was the right one. She has found a place in country music for her solo music and is poised to join the ranks of country music’s growing pool of talented female artists.