Lydia Loveless has been hailed as 'cowpunk' by some, while others have made reference to Stevie Nicks and still others to Loretta Lynn and Exene Cervenka of X but I wouldn't discount a little Chrissie Hynde. What is apparent is that Lydia Loveless fits alongside Nikki Lane and Lindi Ortega as contemporary artists who fuse country with some of the spikier elements of rock. There may be reminders of others in her voice and approach, but Loveless is her own woman and well capable of leading her band to her own victory.
This time Loveless’s sound moves more towards layered guitars and features less banjo and fiddle that did the last album Indestructible Machine, though the steel guitar gives the album a direct link to the country elements of her music. Although the sound is harder there is a suggestion that she may not feel as indestructible in songs like the Pretenders-sounding Hurts So Bad. Another song, Head, is about what you might think given the title. Oral sex may not be a regular topic in these’ beer and tailgate’ days, though it might be the result of such activities. Two intriguing titles are Chris Isaac and Verlaine Shot Rimbaud and you will need to listen carefully to follow the story lines. Much clearer is the theme of Everything's Gone, an album standout due toLoveless’s earthy vocal and the more stripped down backing of guitar and steel. It conveys the desperation that the title suggests. Her version of Kirsty MacColl's They Don't Know suggests another influence both in terms of the artist and a time frame of post-punk music before it compromised its spirit.
Loveless co-produced the album with Joe Viers using her road band of Ben Lamb on bass, new drummer Nick German, Jay Gasper on steel guitar and Nate Holman's keyboards. Todd May shares the guitar and vocal duties. This album is a culmination of many nights playing on the road and honing a collective vision of the music and its development with each release. Loveless has a longing and a passion in her voice that can be heartbreaking or angry in equal measure and it indicates that she is singing of real emotions and motivations in a way that is often raw and real. That's something to commend and enjoy and will make you want to be there wherever somewhere is.