Compared to Lydia Loveless’ earlier albums, Real possess a new polished, country pop sound. Needless to say, it is quite a different pace for the young female artist who was previously known for her raw sound and truthful lyrics. In this newest release, each track is softer and a tad more stereotypically romantic, definitely more suitable for “radio” air play. Whether that was her intention or not, this album has taken a right-hand turn from Loveless’ earlier project, Indestructible Machine, which eluded individuality from a young pastor’s daughter who was raised off of whiskey and “gasoline,” AKA alcohol.
One thing that hasn’t strayed away from the original album is Loveless’ booming beautiful voice. Her talent is a simple fact that can’t be disputed. The band’s country charm remains present within her mature vocals and lyrics. Although young, her words are full of experience and heartache, making the whole album romantically bound to relationships. Most of the songs on the Real album are sad and dark. Pain, sadness and heartache are not uncommon for the punk country singer, but each Real song tells its own story, describing different aspects of love.
The young country spitfire tells it all and is holding nothing back. All the ups and downs that love entails are embedded in all corners of the album. “Out on Love,” for instance, is a track that embodies the fickle nature of love. The song describes the euphoria felt by lovers when first embarking on a new relationship until there is a shift in mutual affection. At first, it feels like heaven, but then it becomes dark and cruel. In her southern twang, she concludes the song, “I guess I missed out on love.” Unfortunately, Loveless is an expert about heartbreak by this point.
The failed attempts in finding love aren’t the only relationship phase this album goes through. Real also highlights the apathetic phase; “More than Ever” where one partner no longer cares to be in the relationship. The second track on the album, “Longer,” speaks to the difficulty of getting over a past relationship as Loveless states, “I need just a little bit longer to get over you,” describing the obstacles many of face when we are not ready to let go just quite yet. It is a reflective song, with catchy guitar riffs and electronic synthesizers. Time heals all wounds, hang in there, Lydia.