Jennifer Nettles, lead singer of the group Sugarland, has been receiving mostly positive reviews for her solo album and concert tour.
Nettles released her album, “That Girl,” on Jan. 14 and Associated Press writer Michael McCall compared “Girl” to “classic Carole King and Linda Ronstadt.”
“Nettles is blessed with a voice that features a wide range and a distinct, vinegary tone,” McCall wrote. “But it's her ability to connect with a song's emotional content that makes her stand out most… [The album is] a reminder of how powerful music can be when it comes from the heart — and tilts more toward talent than technology.”
The singer began her tour in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 14 and Washington Post writer Emily Yahr called the show “calmer and more serious” than Nettles’s team-up with Kristian Bush of Sugarland. Because of the new tone, Yahr called the show “frankly… a little less fun” than seeing the two Sugarland members together.
“Of course, Nettles… still has that spectacular, bombastic twang that she uses like a flying superhero when she sings — her tremendous voice swoops in and out,” Yahr wrote. “She could never really lose people’s attention… But it was hard for the audience to get too amped up as she focused on slow, quiet material from her new album.”
However, Chuck Yarborough of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, who saw Nettles the next night, compared the singer’s attempt to go solo to “a 10-round fight” and said he saw “a championship down the road.”
“The Georgia-born frontwoman clearly was at ease in front of a sold-out crowd,” Yarborough wrote. “Nettles was able to demonstrate that her voice is more than one that can rattle rafters.”
He did note that the night was “a little rough” because of technical glitches but wrote that he was confident “things that will work themselves out with time.”