The reviews are in, and the verdict is... conflicted! While most critics found Crystal Bowersox’s debut album Farmer’s Daughter to be above-average Idol fare, everyone had a bone to pick with it, be in in the production, the songwriting, or even — say it ain’t so! — Crystal’s smooth vocals. Here’s a critical sampler platter... do you think they’re fair? Sound off in the comments!
"If Farmer’s Daughter feels like one of the most genuine Idol contestant debuts yet, it’s also one of the dullest, with Bowersox hitting every note exactly the way you expect her to. Only 'Mason' — a lovely Ray LaMontagne-ish folk-soul ballad — gets her out of the blues-bar rut." — Entertainment Weekly
"What her songwriting lacks in polish, it generally makes up in sincerity and candor. The title track, which recounts her tumultuous childhood in unflinching detail, and 'Mason,' a co—write with her husband, Brian Walker, both showcase Bowersox's real potential. It's unfortunate that even the album's best songs are undone by David Bendeth's fussy, overworked production." — Slant Magazine
"After the country-rock jauntiness of 'Ridin’ with the Radio' and a bland cover of Buffalo Springfield’s 'For What it’s Worth,' the album finds its stride with the title song, a brutally plainspoken and poignant portrayal of childhood abuse. 'Holy Toledo' is nearly as good, more metaphorical and poetic, but equally wrenching." — Chicago Tribune
"All in all, Farmer’s Daughter is better than you might expect, which isn’t to say it’s great. Too many tracks aim straight for the middle—on her most lightweight ballads (“Hold On”) and sterile rock joints like 'Ridin’ with the Radio,' she sounds borderline anonymous. But inconsistency is better than… well… just about anything else to come from the Idol campin recent years." — Paste Magazine