Kellie Pickler has released her new album, "The Woman I Am," and its centerpiece is, not surprisingly, the autobiographical title track, which she co-wrote with her husband, songwriter Kyle Jacobs.
Pickler says she was inspired to write it when an interviewer asked her to name one song in her catalog that would describe her to someone unfamiliar with her and country music.
"I thought, and then I said, 'I don't think I've written it yet, but I'm going to,' " she said in the press kit accompanying the album. "And my husband and I wrote it that night."
At the top, she name-checks one of her musical influences and expresses her feelings about staying connected to country tradition.
"At times I cry at night/Fall to pieces with Patsy Cline/Man I miss songs like that/That's just the woman I am."
That approach served her well on last year's "100 Proof" album, which generated some of the best reviews of her career since she emerged as a sixth place runner-up on the fifth season of "American Idol" to establish a career that's outpaced those of many of the show's victors.
She also had a hand in writing two other songs on the new album.
"When I write a song," she says, "I just wrote about who I am and where I've been, where I am and what I'm going through, or about people who have had an impact on me....
"I want to feel what I'm saying. I want it to mean something. I go back to people like Patsy and Tammy, Loretta and Dolly, who can make you cry. You don't always hear that kind of song today. And no matter how good the song is, I have to believe you as you're singing it."
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