If I had to pick out a favorite artist, it would likely be Jo Dee Messina. I've been listening to her since I was in high school, starting off at the place I worked at because the bosses would play with one of her albums, "I'm Alright". At the time I had no clue of her, and it happened to be that the first album of hers that I bought was "Burn." It wasn't until later when I purchased "I'm Alright" for myself that I realized I had been listening to her for years.
Anyway, Jo Dee's music is of a genre that I really don't listen to much, but I connect a lot with the songs on her albums. Her first album, which was self-titled, is pretty straightforward, there's a few good songs, but it's definitely her trying it out and finding her "voice." "I'm Alright" is the album you listen to when you're dealing with a breakup. You have songs like Bye-Bye which talk about kicking the guy to the curb because he can't commit, but you also have "I'm Alright" which is running into an old friend. Then towards the end you have some of the more loving songs, which is kind of funny after listening to a lot of "You left me, but that's fine because you're an asshole! :-D" songs, suddenly it seems we come to that there's a decent guy around.
Following that we come to "Burn." This is what you listen to when things are going well in life. One of my favorites is "These Are the Days" which is about stepping back and learning to enjoy the pleasures of the day instead of getting so caught up in the usual routine.
There was a Christmas album (because I swear that every recording contract says that you have to record one) and then a greatest hits album. The greatest hits was nice, but Jo Dee was reportedly not happy with it because on one of the new songs recorded for the album, they did enhancements to her voice in the studio without her knowledge, and she hated how it turned out.
Finally we get to Delicious Surprise which is fun to listen to, and it signals a return to her "I'm strong and I don't need you to make me that way" type of song that we hear a lot on "I'm Alright." It's obvious when the first single is called "My Give a Damn's Busted."
I said earlier that I connect with a lot of her songs, and that's true. I think someone could gauge my mood based on which of her albums I have loaded into my Stiletto. Besides that, you could probably take one of her songs and apply it to various points in my life as well. What I like about her is her music reflects having an independent streak, which is something that I have. Plus her music is not always about the same thing over and over again, there may be a theme to several of her songs on an album, but it's not beaten to death.
So I'll be curious as to what she comes out with next since she's been back in the studio recently, and just had a new single come out.
To end this post, I'll leave you with a fan produced video (since the official video is not on YouTube!) of a song that certainly carries some meaning now: