Review: Jaime Wyatt Shakes Things Up on ‘Feel Good’

Videos by American Songwriter

Feel Good
(New West)
4 out of 5 stars

Just when you think you’ve got singer/songwriter Jaime Wyatt pegged, she shakes things up. The Nashville by way of the West Coast artist started as an Americana-based indie pop/rocker on her 2017 debut, then shifted to outlaw-inflected country on the Shooter Jennings-helmed, critically acclaimed Neon Cross from 2020. Three years later, it’s a new producer and another musical swerve.  

Enter the Black Pumas’ Adrian Quesada and a radical adjustment in how she fashions her music. Wyatt, Quesada, and collaborator Joshy Soul invited musicians to sessions in L.A. and Nashville, albeit without specific song ideas. Melodies and lyrics arrived on the fly, and the music flowed naturally. That’s an innovative, even daring method for a relatively new performer, with just a few albums to their name.    

For the most part, it’s successful. 


Wyatt swings to a more soulful sound for the best tracks. She brings a subtle, Muscle Shoals-styled Dusty in Memphis groove to the optimistic opening “World Worth Keeping” which thumps along with restrained yet propulsive force, paying tribute to Mother Nature’s beauty. That bubbling vibe continues on “Feel Good” and gets a ’60s pop infusion for “Love is a Place.” The latter is a joyous romance song (Love has freed me from a lifetime of pain, she sings) ready to turn heads when cranked out of a convertible’s speakers.

A sturdy version of the Grateful Dead’s “Althea” (the disc’s only cover) captures that band’s breezy lope, and the bluesy “Hold Me One Last Time” displays Wyatt’s powerful vocals. A psychedelic guitar solo and spooky backing singing pushes that track to the next level.

Some tunes never quite gel, though. A few closing tracks with a country flair featuring pedal steel seem incongruous with the rest of this set’s retro R&B threads. 

Wyatt’s distinctive, Southern-inflected, husky voice is commanding enough to keep anyone transfixed. It makes even the few weaker moments click, proving that this inventive, non-traditional recording and writing process was effective and worth trying again.   

Photo by Jody Domingue / ShoreFire Media

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