Lindsay Ell - heart theory
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heart theory (Broken Bow, 2020)

Lindsay Ell

Reviewed by Michael Rampa

There Is a saying in sports; "just because you have a good team on paper doesn't mean you can win on the field." That adage does not apply to Lindsay Ell. The Canadian's sophomore effort is stacked with an all-star collection of songwriting talent. With the help of Brandy Clark, Corey Crowder, Kane Brown, and Tyler Hubbard, a seemingly counterintuitive feel-good concept album emerged. While there is no hint of traditional country instrumentation, the guitar solos do stand out. Producer Dan Huff is also one of the better session players around, but the deft solos are all Ell's work.

The revenge anthem, "Want Me Back" leads off the anger phase. In keeping with the tone of the album, It is devoid of true anger and more in the fun vein of Kellie Pickler's "Red High Heels."

"I Don't Love You" is a three-minute showcase of Ell's upper range and the closer, "Ready to Love," predictably and fittingly represents the acceptance phase.

It may seem paradoxical to be able to mix dark themes into fun, even sugary pop, but her goal was to make an upbeat effort that would inspire people. Whether the listener is inspired is a personal experience, but most will agree that the 12-song collection is certainly an easy listen.

CDs by Lindsay Ell

heart theory, 2020 The Continuum Project, 2018 The Project, 2017

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