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Customer Reviews

5 out of 5

27 Ratings

Beautiful mistakes of the heart. Emotions that are real.

Color Me Obsessed, the movie,

I've been listening to the ten songs on REAL since June of 2015 when I had the amazing opportunity to film Lydia and her band of musical geniuses for my documentary Who Is Lydia Loveless? To say I've heard these songs incessantly over the past 14 months, especially during the six month editing process, is an understatement. So, when the film was done, once the accompanying music videos finished, one would expect me to never want to hear this record again. I mean, there are very few albums in existence that could bear that sort of repeated listens. And yet, now that the editing is complete, what album have I been reaching for over and over again? REAL, from Lydia Loveless.

Few things are timeless, fewer albums certainly. But every once in a while, a collection comes along that touches you in ways you can't quite comprehend. That brings emotions to the surface that you felt were long ago repressed. That makes you remember love, heartache, lust, longing. What it's like to cry into your beer for the one who got away. What it's like to question your own sanity when they're lying in bed beside you. Mistakes of the heart, we've all been there. Those are the songs of REAL.

"If self-control is what you want, I'll have to break all of my fingers off," she sings in MORE THAN EVER, a song which finds a mistress pounding harder on the door. "Well you don't have to tell me everything I want to hear/It only makes it harder for me everytime my dear/To say bye," she sings in the stark and heartbreaking CLUMPS. "You take a walk/I'd rather be lonely than ashamed," from the decidedly dark BILBAO where a chorus of "marry me" turns into "bury me." Or "I don't know what the truth is but you give me every reason to fall out of every lasting arms" in OUT ON LOVE, arguable the most breath-taking song on the album. Lyrically, there's not a better songwriter on the planet today. The emotions aren't bubblegum nonsense, you can pick the scabs off the still-healing wounds of a heart stabbed too many times.

But what might be most amazing about REAL is the sonic variety given the tracks. Props to producer Joe Viers and the band. There are no two songs that sound alike. This is not your average pop record where you think you keep hearing the same slow and fast songs over and over again. Put HEAVEN side-by-side with BILBAO, or put that side-by-side with SAME TO YOU. You'll know it's the same heart stopping voice, but think the songs are from different era, different decades. Most musicians today are afraid to offer variety. But Lydia once again proves she's afraid of nothing, at least not in the studio. She takes risks, and they all soar.

Lydia Loveless, Todd May, Ben Lamb, Jay Gasper, and George Hondroulis are the rarest of beasts, a rock band true to the core. One without compromise. I love this band. And I love this record.

More polished, but best album yet.

Soddy38053,

I found Lydia Loveless through a site called farcethemusic.com and quickly plowed through all of her previous albums, live appearances on YouTube, and anything else I could find. I've been listening to this album on NPR for the last week on repeat. It gets better with every listen. "Longer" is a pop tune with gritty vocals and really sad lyrics which is my favorite combination. Think Replacements. However, upon more listens, my favorite songs are: "Out on Love" with its plodding guitar and ethereal electronic sounds over Loveless's desperate lines sung with her ever strong voice; "Heaven" with its 80's sounding guitar and synth; and "Same to You", a lament on an indifferent love. This album has her best writing and the band and Loveless have grown and branched out musically beyond the labels critics have tried to pigeonhole them in for years now. This is the album which will make Lydia Loveless a star for a very long time. This is her "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road." This is her keystone for a long, fruitful career.

About Lydia Loveless

Firebrand alt-country singer Lydia Loveless combines the honky tonk sound and style of classic country stars like Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline with the no-quarter attitude and spunk of punk rock divas such as Exene Cervenka and Carla Bozulich. Lydia Loveless was born in Coschocton, Ohio in 1990; she was raised on a farm, but her father was also a music fan who booked bands at a local bar, and Lydia became accustomed early on to seeing bands play and discovering an out-of-town act asleep on the living-room floor in the morning. By the time Loveless was 13, she had taken up songwriting and was doing shows with local bands, playing a combination of rootsy country and punk-influenced rock & roll. After relocating to Columbus, Ohio, Loveless fronted a pop/rock band with her sisters called Carson Drew, but the combo broke up not long after the release of their 2006 album, Under the Table, and Loveless began concentrating on her solo career, forming a backing band with her dad on drums. In 2010, Loveless self-released her first solo album, The Only Man, which earned her rave reviews from the alt-country music media, and as she began work on a follow-up EP, she was contacted by respected insurgent country label Bloodshot Records, which promptly signed Loveless to a record deal.

At the label's behest, Loveless expanded the EP to an album, and her first Bloodshot release, Indestructible Machine, was released in September 2011. After the album arrived in stores, Loveless and her band hit the road hard, touring extensively in the United States, Canada, and Europe. In 2013, Loveless began writing material for a third album, but shortly after the sessions for the full-length were completed, Loveless had a burst of inspiration that led to her writing and recording a hard-rocking five-song EP about the ups and downs of relationships. Titled Boy Crazy, the EP was released as a stopgap in late 2013, while the album, the confident and eclectic Somewhere Else, appeared in February 2014. Somewhere Else received enthusiastic reviews, and writer and punk rock icon Richard Hell said of Loveless, "Lydia is the only singer/songwriter the power of whose music and voice consistently makes me cry." Filmmaker Gorman Bechard began work on a documentary about her life and music, Who Is Lydia Loveless?, which debuted on the film festival circuit in the fall of 2016. And in August 2016, Loveless released her much-anticipated fourth album, Real. ~ Mark Deming

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