Album Review: Sunny Sweeney’s ‘Trophy’

Since releasing her debut album Heartbreaker’s Hall of Fame over a decade ago, Texas-born Sunny Sweeney has developed quite the reputation as a female vocalist who isn’t afraid to show her twangier side. Her warm, yet driving, vocal approach made “From A Table Away” a solid radio hit back in 2010, climbing all the way to the Billboard top ten. At the same time, the singer is known for her vivacious personality and sometimes-humorous take on the world – utilizing a pre-stardom stint as a stand-up comedian. Spend any time with her in person – or on the phone – and you will be enchanted at a female vocalist who truly has no idea how good – or cool – she is.

She combines both elements of her personality on her fourth studio album, Trophy. There are quite a few cuts that have that fun and spicy side to the singer, such as the quite outspoken title cut, a track that one gets the feeling that Loretta Lynn could have pulled off quite easily circa 1972. She also plays the part of the dream Redneck girl on “Better Bad Idea,” which I have a feeling will become a popular live song for Sweeney given her amount of sass.

But, what really sets this album apart is the more introspective numbers. As an artist, Sweeney is not afraid to show her vulnerable side, and does so quite effectively on tracks like the masterfully-written “Bottle By My Bed,” which is about the emotional longing in one’s life without children. What makes the song work so well is that if you look at the title, you are going to likely think the song is going to be one way and she turns the listener on an emotional dime, proving the mettle of a great songwriter.

She also shoots for the top, and reaches it, with the stone Country feel of “Pass The Pain,” which will make someone like Lee Ann Womack or Trisha Yearwood, who sings harmony on the cut, proud. If you are a Sweeney fan, you’re going to love the album in general – that’s a given, but you will absolutely fall in love with the cut.

Perhaps the emotional centerpiece of the song is the poignant “Unsaid,” which was written after a friend of Sweeney’s committed suicide. The performance is long on pain, regret, remorse, and even anger – and Sweeney seems to bring about the pure power in every line.

If there is any justice in the world, one day Sunny Sweeney will become a household name. She’s a talent like few others, and has always been unafraid to show her emotions – on all sides. That’s just the kind of artist that we keep saying we need in Music City, and she deserves to be front and center!

Fans can order Trophy on iTunes now.