This isn’t bad, but will it be “Enough” to break through the country radio blockade?
Wammack’s debut single “Damage” peaked at an impressive #13 in my 2018 year-end country single rankings, but country radio apparently didn’t share my enthusiasm, because I can’t find any record on Billboard’s site of the song even charting. While this was not terribly surprising given the genre’s continued allergy to female artists, it was disappointing nonetheless, and moved Sony to change their approach for Wammack’s next single (so much so that they scrapped the rest of her debut EP). Instead of the big-voice power ballad that was “Damage,” Wammack’s new follow-up single “Enough” features more tempo, a more-conventional sound, and more hints of overdone subject matter—in other words, it’s a safer radio play all the way around. While I personally find it to be a slight step back from “Damage,” I also find its radio prospects to be slightly (but not much) brighter this time around.
The first change you’ll notice is how much brighter and positive the production sounds, dumping the somber piano and opening with spacious atmospheric synths and steel guitar instead. The mix remains fairly soft through the first verse (some acoustic strumming and barely-there synthetic percussion are added), but eventually the electric guitars and real drums jump in to give the arrangement some volume for the chorus (a slow-rolling, dangerously-close-to-token banjo also makes an appearance). It’s got a dreamy, uplifting feel to it (heck, I’d even call it borderline spiritual), perfecting complementing the content of the lyrics: The narrator has big dreams, but even if they don’t come true, their current state is still pretty good. I also like how the song manages its momentum, starting slow and slowly building energy until unleashing it on the final chorus. I wouldn’t call it the most novel or most interesting of mixes, but it knows what it’s supposed to do and executes the plan to perfection.
Wammack still does her usual Adele impression on this track, but she seems less comfortable at times than she did on “Damage.” When she’s allowed to let loose on the choruses, she seems to be in her element (heck, I think her vocals add more momentum to the song than the instruments), but on the verses she loses some of her vocal power and her flow gets a bit choppy (actually, it reminds me a lot of Carly Pearce on “Closer To You”). Unlike Pearce, however, Wammack manages to keep the song’s mood from getting too dark at any point, and the chorus repetition at the end allows her to close the track on a high note. It’s not a performance that grabs you immediately, but over time Wammack breaks through the barrier between herself and the audience and lets them share in her joy and contentment. Overall it’s a solid, charismatic turn at the mic, and while it’s not quite as moving to me as “Damage” was, it’s not bad by any means.
The lyrics here tell the tale of perhaps the most self-aware narrator I’ve heard in quite some time: They have their eyes on a prize that is a lifetime of love and happiness with their significant other, but they also realize that they’ve achieved quite a bit in that category already, and they know that even if their full dreams are never realized, they’ve still got “enough” to be satisfied. (While I wonder if there’s a little meta commentary thrown in here, i.e. “even if Nashville never really lets me in, I’ve still come a long way,” but the writing is so home-focused that it seems unlikely.) While the imagery here is fairly run-of-the-mill, I appreciate that the level of detail is high enough to really paint a picture in the listener’s mind (“big backyard, brick house, white shutters, front porch swing”? I want a house like that too! As long as the property taxes aren’t too high…). There’s a relentless positivity coursing through the lyrics, and they leave plenty of hooks for Wammack to infuse them with energy and elevate them to another level. It’s not Shakespeare, but it’ll make you smile for a few minutes, and sometimes that’s all you can ask for.
While I consider “Damage” to be the superior track, “Enough” is, well, enough! It’s a decent track with suitable production, workmanlike lyrics, and a great performance from Rachel Wammack to tie the whole thing together. Is it enough to finally catch the radio’s eye and earn Wammack the spotlight time and respect she deserves? I have my doubts, but that’s on country music more than her. If the genre is really serious about getting some gender balance back into their format, “Enough” may not be enough, but it’s a darn good place to start.
Rating: 6/10. Give it a chance and see what you think.