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Holy Road: Freedom Songs

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Album Review

Lizzie West has lived her life as a wanderer. Time spent traveling cross-country shaped her sunny character as a young 20something and strongly impacting her work as a poet and as a songwriter. West's self-titled EP was merely a glimpse into her wild imagination, and Holy Road: Freedom Songs vividly reflects upon her spiritual quest, collecting some of her brightest adventures for a brilliant debut album. What makes Holy Road: Freedom Songs inviting from the start is its mellow vibe. Each song has its own personality, and West isn't strict in style even with the album's slight country feel. She's a little bit folky on "Monkey Back Blues" whereas "Jenny" coasts with dark, jazz-inflected beats for a sweeping orchestrated moment. West is used to coming and going, and her wispy, aged-like vocals convince you that leaving what's most familiar shouldn't be scary. Exploring the unknown refuels the mind and soul, and West knows it well; from the acoustic splendor of "Hit the Road" to the harmonic heartache of "Time to Cry," West is strong in her convictions of making it on her own. "Dusty Turnaround" is earthy and pure, highlighting a child-like innocence in West's songcraft. Holy Road: Freedom Songs, in a literal sense, is a simple storybook, but lush in dreams. Dismiss the thoughts of her sounding like Natalie Merchant, because West is original. She works with music's most basic qualities and warms them, and in today's market, such a task is hard to pull off without sounding too plastic .


Born: 1973 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Singer/songwriter Lizzie West is a wandering spirit, matching the heartbreak of Neko Case and the crass humor of Lucinda Williams and Kristin Hersh. West was born in Brooklyn in 1973 and spent most of her young life frolicking across North America. The works of Jack Kerouac, Walt Whitman, and Ralph Waldo Emerson inspired her and Leonard Cohen moved her, so naturally writing was pretty normal for West. Poems and prose were her permanent escape, her home sweet home. At age 18, West moved to London...
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Holy Road: Freedom Songs, Lizzie West
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