Take It Outside
Lydia Loveless is an alternative-country singer from Coshocton, Ohio, where her dad owned a country bar. As you would expect, touring musicians sleeping around her house was a common sight for young Lydia. When she was a teenager, she moved to Columbus, where she immersed herself in the both the country and punk sides of the music scene. Her latest album, Somewhere Else, has already garnered some serious attention. Both Rolling Stone and Spin list her as a new artist “you need to know.” That may be overstating it a bit.
“Really Wanna See You” is killer, starting the album off strong and getting you ready for something new, something fresh–punk rock and country music roots on equal terms, ready to show what they can do. Yet around the fourth track, everything sort of drones together. The vocals are almost indistinguishable through most of the songs, and the rest of the music felt like a blur, as well. “Hurt so Bad” is worth mentioning because the bass groove is absolutely on point, a really rocking progression, great tone, excellent execution.
Loveless’s voice sounds like Reba singing Stevie Nicks, which would most likely be amazing, (someone’s people should talk to someone’s people) but it did not turn out to be quite so on this record. By mid-album “Verlaine Shot Rimbaud,” it had become annoying. The title track, “Somewhere Else,” sounds great — the lyrics are well-written with a few tongue-in-cheek remarks, as well as a call out to Tommy Tutone, reminding us that “867-5309” used to be a thing. It’s likely to be a really good single. “Everything’s Gone” follows next, a heart-pouring country ballad and great tune that brings something inviting and enjoyable. The album concludes with “They Don’t Know” which… sounds like the rest of the album, an upbeat country song with more jangle-pop guitar.
Overall, this album might be getting hyped out of proportion. It is good music, the idea behind it is awesome and more people should play with this country-punk concept. The guitar is cool throughout because of its reminiscence of some early R.E.M. Peter Buck work, but the album dragged on and should have ended on “Everything’s Gone.” Before the record is through, you might find yourself wanting to be somewhere else too.