"Someone Somewhere Tonight"

On 2012's surprisingly ace 100 Proof, this American Idol also-ran reinvented herself as a hard-drawling honky-tonk classicist. With "Someone Somewhere Tonight," her winning streak continues. Originally cut by Kenny Rogers, it's a widescreen power ballad with the kind of lyrics – steeped in down-home philosophizin' – that can be gruesome in the wrong hands. But here the music is raw and burly, full of shuddering electric guitars, and her big, open-throated singing sells the emotion of every last word.

From The Archives Issue 1184: June 6, 2013