Lydia Loveless lets loose on new 'Indestructible Machine'

Lydia Loveless is a bundle of contradictions on her second album, “Indestructible Machine” (Bloodshoot): the 21-year-old Ohio singer with the booming voice is a self-proclaimed shit-talker who’s sometimes too anxious to leave her house, she knows from broken hearts but makes “perfectly good men cry,” and wishes she were more outgoing even as she defiantly refuses to change.

Also, she drinks a lot.

It makes for a riveting mix of strongly felt emotions on these nine new songs that blend blaring rock ’n’ roll guitars with a barroom country sensibility that careers from the searing punkabilly opener “Bad Way to Go” to the wry “Steve Earle,” which imagines the country-folk troubadour as a bit of a musical stalker. She even has an alternate take on the biblical water-to-wine thing on the jumped-up, gritty shuffle “Jesus Was a Wino.”

Although Loveless writes good songs, the way she sings them is what makes “Indestructible Machine” so compelling. She has a powerful voice that rarely lets up, yet evokes the vulnerability lurking underneath her blustery exterior. She’s at her most impressive on the impossibly catchy “Learn to Say No,” a lacerating confession that finds her wondering in the second-person, “Why does it take so much work to keep you company?”

It’s worth whatever work it takes, even if she makes you cry.

— Text by Eric R. Danton, photo by the Ely Brothers

LISTEN
Can’t Change Me mp3

  2 comments for “Lydia Loveless lets loose on new 'Indestructible Machine'

  1. September 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Catchy voice. I think this girl has some real potential. 21 years old, hell, keep working it, honey.

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