Gwen Sebastian has grown as an artist since she was a part of Team Blake on 'The Voice' in 2012. Her new single 'Suitcase' shows new confidence and vocal power, without sacrificing her unique punctuation and delivery. Her pain is palpable.

'Suitcase' is a mid-tempo cheatin' song with the title subject being used as a vehicle for the story of a couple's marriage and demise. The symbolism is clunky, but the singer gets all one could get out of it. It's her interpretation that allows us to feel the heat of this man's affair, as well as the hurt and empty apathy of the woman who is packing his bags. You can almost see the cold indifference in her eyes.

"I found her lipstick in the pocket of our suitcase / I know I never bought that shade," Sebastian sings. "Well you must have found her lips on a business trip turned holiday / Now I threw our wedding picture and my princess cut ring / Watching it sink right beside her lipstick in our suitcase."

The melodic track slips seamlessly between verse and chorus. 'Suitcase' is one long, fluid story: "I hope it hits you when you're leaving / The screen door and guilty feeling / Well I packed up all the heartache / You'll walk on down the driveway with nothin' in your hand / But a suitcase."

One lyric late in the song highlights the problem with the song, however. "I guess the love between you and me didn't have a lifetime guarantee," Sebastian sings. It's an absolute dagger until: "That's only good on our suitcase."

This is a well-written song, but if feels less about the end of love and more about luggage. A flawed concept is a big hurdle -- one Sebastian is almost able to jump. But unlike horseshoes, close doesn't do much good in country music.

3 Stars

Listen to Gwen Sebastian, 'Suitcase'

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