On her follow-up to "Indestructible Machine," Ohio singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless sounds like she has taken everything great Stevie Nicks, Garrison Starr and Neko Case have managed to do over their careers and made them her own. The new full-length effort kicks off with "Really Wanna See You," a mid-tempo rocker veering from roots rock to polished pop. And from that moment on, Loveless takes you on a very enjoyable trek.
Part of Loveless' appeal is her knowing each song can still sound a bit rough around the edges without falling off the rails. Whether it's on the sweet "Wine Lips" featuring some fine work by guitarist/singer Todd May or "To Love Somebody," Loveless is confident in the material. As well she should be. Another plus here is letting the songs be entirely fleshed out with the codas not quickly shut down for the sake of radio airplay.
Meanwhile "Chris Issak" is another Americana-saturated gem with Loveless belting out thoughts about yesteryear and mistakes made along the way. And it's this one that brings to mind material Steve Earle and The Dukes mined circa "Exit O." Perhaps the biggest highlight is the stellar Kathleen Edwards-leaning "Head," which definitely could be a show-stopper in a live setting
If there's a minor flaw, it might come along during "Hurts So Bad." Here Loveless channels Shelby Lynne-like soul, but there's not a lot fuelling the track along aside from repeating the song's title. Thankfully it's atoned for with "Somewhere Else," a slightly mellow but memorable, five-minute nugget that eases the listener in before Loveless effortlessly takes control. And how can you not love a reference to Tommy Tutone's '80s hit "867-5309/Jenny" in the lyrics!
Closing with Kirsty MacColl's "They Don't Know," Loveless' latest ensures many more will know about her!