Like a fine wine or maybe smooth bourbon would be a better metaphor, Lydia Loveless just gets better with age. The diminutive singer/songwriter creates a big sound with her country twang and punk attitude as she belts out tunes about love, heartache and bad decisions. With her latest record – Somewhere Else – she builds off the success of her previous albums offering up some of her best songwriting to date.
She wastes no time opening the album with a rowdy southern rocker, “Really Wanna See You”. A vicious guitar riff invades listeners’ ears before settling into a nice country groove as she details regrets from a past relationship. She is not railing on the man but herself for never being there, treating him poorly and being a bitch. The old ‘you never know what you had until it’s gone’ proverb. Tracks like “Chris Isaak” and “Everything’s Gone” are dripping with despair as Loveless makes listeners feel sympathy for the characters in her songs and want to reach out and offer help. She may be at her best on “Hurts So Bad”, a brooding emotional track where about a shaky relationship. The music, lyrics and her vocal delivery complement each other brilliantly. A nice treat comes at the end of the album with a cover of “They Don’t Know” as Loveless gives the Kristy MacColl song a bit of her own flavor.
Once again Lydia Loveless puts on a songwriting display as she creates a world that most people try to avoid. While heartache and despair make for an unhappy life they usually make good songs. Her words are delivered with pain and regret which make them that much more powerful. Loveless is an old soul and it is a refreshing change to see a young musician putting in the time and work that she does. Give this record a play and take the time to listen to what she is saying.