I’m the kind of person that needs to make comparisons. It’s probably annoying to other people, but I need to just have a frame of reference for some things, so I’m going to say this, and then let you all agree or tear it apart: last night on Nashville, while watching Avery (Jonathan Jackson) perform the song, “Kiss” — at last, a solo on this show that is really, really great! — at the club where he was being scouted/seduced, I got a little bummed out that he wouldn’t be portraying Jeff Buckley in the upcoming biopic, Greetings From Tim Buckley. I don’t doubt Penn Badgley will do a decent job in the role (OR DO I?) but watching Jackson finally get some screen time of his own to showcase his voice was an unexpected pleasure, and if you combine the sweet desperation in his voice with the intensity behind his up-to-no-good eyes, I feel like I’d rather hear him sing Buckley’s songs and play that tortured soul than Badgely. But we don’t need him typecast as the tortured soul, Avery emanates enough of that to last a career to be honest, and he’s on my bad side now that he’s slept with that no-good Music City cougar, Marilyn Rhodes. (Music City Cougars! Coming this fall to CMT!)
(Off topic, the character bio for Avery reads “Avery’s a dead sexy East Nashville hipster with tons of talent—and the swagger to match.” Now that I’ve cut and pasted that, let’s never speak of it again.)
You know who’s not a Music City Cougar? Rayna. No, this week, she’s been stereotyped in a different, far more offensive way, she’s been labeled the musician of choice for SUV-driving soccer moms. Desperate to change her sound up to get back on her game, she meets with Liam McGuinnis, a too-cool-for-school music producer with whom a collaboration would totally make her cool and relevant again. But Liam is all “Ew, you’re old and not cool, lady, go back to Ann Taylor Loft and buy some more sensible slacks and get outta my dingy studio on the edge of town.” Rayna’s ego is murdered there and then. Doesn’t Liam know she’s totally friends with a buncha former junkies and her daughter is actually her alcoholic-former-writing-partner’s secret kid? That’s all kinds of coolness, brah!
Rayna returns to Liam’s studio the next day, and she tells him she’s not who he thinks she is, despite the SUV she rode in on. (Cut to the beep of Rayna turning off her power locks.) Somehow, Liam is persuaded to give her a chance, and seven whiskeys later they’re in his studio recording “Buried Under.” I know I said I was one for comparisons, and I’m not going to force this one at all, but every time Connie Britton sings, I want to hear a Neko Case song come out of her. It’s probably just the hair. But “Buried Under” might be as close to a Neko song as we’ll get from Rayna, and it’s a passable alt-country single. Written by Chris DeStefano and Natalie Hemby, you can watch the making-of video of how the song came to be here:
Most notably, DeStefano produced and composed Kelly Clarkson‘s “Stronger,” and Hemby, a Nashville native, has written for Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.
The Connie Britton version is also available on iTunes.
And some more great news for us fans, ABC announced this week that not only has Nashville been picked up for the entire season, but an official soundtrack to the series will come out on December 11. Just in time for Christmas, y’all! The most important thing about the soundtrack is that it will feature Rayna’s daughters’ (played by Lennon and Maisy Stella) version of “Telescope.” I don’t think I properly gave that performance the credit it deserves, so here you go, it’s probably one of the series highlights thus far. These girls are 12 and 7. Come on now.