Heather Myles

Sweet Talk and Good Lies – 2002 (Rounder)

Reviewed by Clarissa Sansone

CDs by Heather Myles

Don't let the vulnerable prettiness on the cd cover fool you: Heather Myles is as much a badass as she's ever been. Just listen to the take-no-bull attitude of crowd-pleaser "Sweet Little Dangerous," where Myles declares, "Some people don't like my attitude/Well I don't give a damn - they ain't wearin' my shoes."

With the earthy, straightforward quality of Loretta Lynn, she takes Nashville's current commercial glam to task in "Nashville's Gone Hollywood." (Her tone takes a similar Loretta turn on the serves-you-right "Homewrecker Blues.") Thoughts on love, lies, and the fine line between the two thread their way through her shuffling, honky-tonk sound and culminate in a vocal Vegas pilgrimage with Dwight Yoakam in the Mexi-melody of "Little Chapel." With this release, however - her second record with Rounder and fifth overall - Myles expands her repertoire beyond the walls of the honky-tonk, as is apparent in her choice of cover songs: "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and "Cry Me a River." The former is a glossy rendition worthy of seventies AM radio, but Myles' phrasing is a bit uneven and clipped. This condition is remedied by the time she gets to "Cry Me a River," the last song, where the combination of Myles' full notes and a hint of steel guitar delivers a convincing torch song (with a twang).