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Lydia Loveless

Girl Crazy And Single(s) – 2017 (Bloodshot)

Reviewed by Greg Yost

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CDs by Lydia Loveless

The 11 tracks on Lydia Loveless's "Boy Crazy And Single(s)" are split fairly evenly between the 5 songs found on her now out-of-print 2013 "Boy Crazy" EP and 6 singles and B-sides, most of which were not released previously.

The "Boy Crazy" EP tracks are real gems - lyrically compelling relationship tales with catchy melodies and radio-friendly choruses. "All The Time" is the perfect example. Loveless takes a gritty subject matter (a mistress coming to terms with her inability to walk away from the affair despite knowing better) and covers it with a jaunty and shiny pop veneer that feels contradictory to the song's sentiments. In doing so, she has created a modern infidelity tune that is at once both starkly honest and sweet.

Need another example? Look no further than "Lover's Spat." Musically, this is another super-catchy piece of up-tempo country rock, but the tale being told is much darker. Loveless examines domestic violence and even references the circumstances around serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's1991 murder of a 14-year-old Milwaukee boy. It sounds like an impossible combination, but Loveless pulls it off beautifully.

The title track, with its twangy punk rock-inspired riff, is another showcase for Loveless' open and honest songwriting. She lays her desires out on the table for all to see, which makes her so endearing and relatable.

The collection also includes choice covers. Although songs like an unexpectedly funky rendition of Prince's "I Would Die 4 U" and a minimalist take on Elvis Costello's classic "Alison" are sure to initially grab your attention, the highlight here is "Blind" from pop star Kesha. Loveless is an admitted huge Kesha fan, and her slowed-down interpretation of this mid-tempo dance track, which showcases her powerful and compelling country singing voice, brings out the song's emotional beauty in a way the electronic version never could.