Photo by Jared Swafford
I keep seeing Janet Simpson's music compared to Lucinda Williams. It's an obvious comparison, but it's certainly not wrong. Her latest single, "Slip," sounds like vintage Williams, when she's trying to clean up her grit for mainstream consumption but always misses just enough to keep it Lucinda Williams. "Slip" might be one of the best country rock ballads I've heard this century. It has enough bass to give it a menacing groove that you know you should say no to, but how could you? And then Janet Simpson's voice kicks in, and there's no going back. This is the kind of song that truly defines the alt-country genre. You can't really say it's country, and you can't even say it's rock. It's just enough of each to repel those with a closed mind, but for the rest of us "Slip" is going to be impossible to resist. Although why would we want to?