I'm Just a Girl

Deana Carter emerged as one of country's most unique new voices with the release of "Strawberry Wine" (Capitol) in 1996 but lost momentum in the wake of less-inspired releases.

Deana Carter emerged as one of country's most unique new voices with the release of "Strawberry Wine" (Capitol) in 1996 but lost momentum in the wake of less-inspired releases. Now she resurfaces on Arista in fearless form, with her keen instinct for material back in overdrive. Carter's breathy style immediately grabs attention on a title cut that sounds like the great American hit record, and a bit more edge does wonders for the hooky debut single "There's No Limit" and Petty-esque "Goodbye Train." Carter offers some sexy West Coast acoustic attitude on "You and Tequila," and her honey-and-dust vocals give clout to the yearning "Wildflower" and strong resolve of "Twice As Worth It." "Waiting," a power-ballad duet with Dwight Yoakam, is mighty fine; less successful is the conversational girl talk of "Cover of a Magazine," which comes off a tad silly. The biting "Liar" and manic, out-of-control "Girls Night," however, are like new wave on moonshine. One thing's for certain: Deana Carter ain't skeered.—RW