Lydia Loveless – Real (2016)

lydia-loveless-ll1It is well worth putting in the effort to block out a plodding rhythm section to get to the heart of Lydia Loveless’s latest songs. A timid bandleader, she is savage with a pen. Young women should be happy to hear her reaffirm that they can be strong and independent and still feel fearful and vulnerable sometimes.

Alas, her backing 80’s tribute band is only one mirror she hides behind. The other is her move to power pop after a country 2010 debut and a Knittersish cowpunk followup, a genre she now disowns. But she’s no stadium rock chick however much she’d like to be one, and her writing is too involved and sonically varied for that audience. She’s more Paul Westerberg than her inexplicable idol Kesha, and it’s Achin’ To Be heard.