Preview The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone by Lee Ann Womack.
The Lonely, The Lonesome And The Gone by Lee Ann Womack
Lee Ann Womack’s ninth release continues her steady progression from Noughties mainstream Country star to Country Americana artist. She has such presence and musical pedigree that any release is a real event. Fans whether old and new will not be disappointed.
The album was recorded in East Texas and Womack says, “I wanted to get out of Nashville, and tap the deep music and vibe of East Texas. I wanted to make sure this record had a lot of soul in it, because real Country music has soul. I wanted to remind people of that.”
From being a staple of CMT and the Country charts at the turn of the century then Womack has matured impressively and continues to be an artist who can be relied on for important and inspiring music. Like many artists of a certain vintage she is now returning to her roots, at least judging by the covers on this release.
Husband, Frank Liddell, produces this record and his commercial Country sensibilities are ever present. He demonstrated this in abundance on my Country album of the year – The Weight Of These Wings by Miranda Lambert - with beautiful arrangements and peerless musicianship. He can truly catch the essence of the artist.
“All The Trouble” sets the tone for much of the album with that eerier and darker vibe. Lyrically, she’s also on the edge:
“Well it started with a dirt pile
And a couple drops of rain
Then the storm and the wind
And the thunder and the lightning came
Somebody give me shelter
I’ve had all I can take”
“The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone” and “Hollywood” lyrically revisit a theme of recent albums: faded relationships drifting toward indifference. The arrangements are slow with an emphasis on her beautiful and expressive vocals, which are complemented with haunting slide guitar painting the bleak picture of disappointment.
“Shine On A Rainy Day” takes us back to classic Womack with a beautiful Brent Cobb and Andrew Combs composition. It has a sweeter vocal with her Texan inflection to the fore. There are lots of things happening in the arrangement but you’ll love the tune and her heartfelt reflection of a love lost. Bliss.
“Talking Behind Your Back” is reminiscent of her 20 year old classic, “The Fool”. A woman to woman coffee conversation where she spills the reflections of her life carelessly in front of you. “End Of The End Of The World” is so Miranda Lambert with its clever lyric and wry humor that talks of a crisis averted by the return of her lover.
As part of her development as an artist Womack has seven writing credits on the 14 tracks. However, there are some covers. Harlan Howard’s “He Called Me Baby” is a measured vocal performance with a lively backing. (Patsy Cline’s original is saturated in strings and is quite different). If Womack has talked of soul in the PR then this definitely channels her inner Dusty Springfield.
She has complete creative control and this is very much how she wants to sound now. She’s in a very good place and I think you will be with this as well.