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Irlene Mandrell Sends Thanks To All Who Watch Over and Keep Us Safe! "Thanks To You"

"These songs are for all of us that love God, Family, and Our Country. I am dedicating this album to our Military, to all who who have served and are serving now, our Law Enforcement Personnel, First Responders, and everyone who works tirelessly to keep us safe and free. You are our heroes! - Irlene Mandrell

As evidenced by the liner notes, Irlene Mandrell is a proud American, and is extremely thankful to all of those who allow her to be just that. Words of gratitude as simple as "Thank You" are often forgotten in these entitled times that we live in. People take a lot for granted nowadays, including our freedom, and how lucky we are to live in this wonderful country where there are those who put their lives on the line to ensure that we live safely and happily. Irlene wants everyone to remember just how lucky we are and to simply SHOW GRATITUDE. Her album Thanks To You is a beautiful statement of gratitude, more patriotic than George Washington riding a Bald Eagle and waving an American Flag!

The album kicks off with the strong willed track, "We Will Stand". With an excess of tragic and traumatic events that have been happening around the country, this track is a powerful reminder that we are better than this. We will persevere, and we will overcome. She reminds us that, "America is stronger than the acts of evil men, we will overcome them, no they will never win". The song itself layers upon itself and builds continuously to a powerful climax that she holds strong for the last minute and a half. She chants passionately, "We will not fail, we will not fall, we will stand".

The title track to the album, "Thanks To You", is a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has done their part to make our country a better and safer place to live. She professes in the first verse, "The world's a better place to come home to thanks to you". It's a soft acoustic driven ballad that features some strong riffing from an electric guitar that'll send shivers right down your spine. Her voice is beautiful and sincere, and when she hits the high notes during the chorus's, "Hold your head up high because you're the living proof that freedom will survive because it lives and breathes in everything we do thanks to you", I challenge you not to let one or two tears out. The horns in the outro feel very patriotic and almost like a memorializing way to close out this perfect tune.

The next song that really struck me was the supportive and pride filled, "The Boots My Momma Wears". This song takes an interesting look at something a lot of people tend to gloss over. Women are out there fighting in the army, just the same as men, and many of them are mothers. Written from the perspective of a soldier's daughter, the narrator misses her mom, but is unbelievably proud of what she is out doing. She has a strong female role model to look up to and inspire her. "My momma wears combat boots, she carries a gun and she can dang well shoot/She drives a humvee across the sand defending freedom in a far away land". The mother in this story is a genuine badass, protecting the world and making it a better place for her babies to live. In the final line of the chorus, "For now I'm glad she's there, and I'm proud of the boots my momma wears".

The album closes with the memorial track, "You Live On". It's about having to move on after you've lost someone you love. It's a tough subject, but Irlene delivers it with the inspiring love that "You Live On". He/she will never truly be gone or forgotten. She recites in the chorus, "You live on your blood runs through my veins, I live on to carry on your name/You'll always be here with me even though you're gone, you're alive in my heart you live on".

By the end of this album, you oughtta be standing up with your hand over your heart or saluting the flag. Irlene has created a beautiful album to remind all of us that freedom isn't free, and to be thankful for those who give everything to keep it that way. I was not able to listen to this album without crying, and trust me that is only a good thing. It's a touching and moving album that everyone should check out listen to and hopefully gain a little gratitude from. A proud patriot with a beautiful voice, Irlene Madrell, Thanks To YOU for this amazing record!

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