|Nikki Lane — All Or Nothin' |
Nikki Lane — All Or Nothin'
Location: Greenville, South Carolina ~ Nashville, TN
Album release: May 6, 2014
Record Label: New West Records
01. Right Time 3:22
02. Good Man 3:45
03. I Don't Care 2:58
04. You Can't Talk To Me Like That 3:43
05. Seein' Double 3:14
06. Love's On Fire 3:30
07. All Or Nothin' 3:57
08. Sleep With A Stranger 3:36
09. Man Up 4:08
10. Out Of My Mind 3:59
11. Wild One 3:30
12. Want My Heart Back 2:59
By Holly Gleason | May 6, 2014 | 5:21pm | SCORE: 8.5
◊ If Lana Del Ray had pores, bodily fluids or even the rare hair out of place, she might be Nikki Lane, the East Nashville firebrand who understands sangfroid is a lot more explosive when you roughen up the edges and throw down a gauntlet. Dressed like Evel Knievel’s stunning distaff doppelganger on the cover of All or Nothin’, Lane defies convention with a record that evokes Dusty Springfield, Loretta Lynn and Jackie DeShannon over a dozen songs that read like Polaroids from a wild heart gone ragged.
◊ Power-sauntering through the plucky straight-forward sex charge “Sleep With A Stranger,” Lane eschews ladylike demeanor and any waft of slut-shaming in laying it all out there. That bravado marks the opening “Right Time” with an unrepentant glee that descends into a chorus that turns manifesto for those who won’t be bound by expectation: “It’s always the right time to do the wrong thing.”
◊ Credit Dan Auerbach’s savvy production — room for the steel guitar to spread out, the guitar’s bottom-string to darkly quiver, drums thumpin’ ’n’ topplin’ — with investing Lane’s post-modern girl power with a force that is smart, not just pummeling.
◊ That blunt force applies to the ballads. A thoughtfully strummed acoustic guitar and an echoing room intro invests the Auerbach duet “Love’s On Fire” with the Louvins’ hard ache. A pause tumbles into Joshua Hedley’s pungent fiddle, sawing the melody as guitars seek the sweeping rhythms that gave California country its feel. But this isn’t a peaceful, easy feeling, instead the doubts of desire across distance, weight of what must be done and the heat of libido threatening to incinerate all.
◊ To be frank without resorting to trailer-life clichés is Lane’s great gift. Whether it’ the languid pushback on the verge of falling for a come-on Romeo (“You Can’t Talk To Me Like That”), the undulating tightrope of weighing consequences (“All or Nothin’”) or the girl-in-love-finding-her-dignity (“Good Man”), there’s the falter of her breathy little girl voice that may bruise, but it never buckles.
◊ There is nothing cute here, or designed to make you titter. Even when she gets up in it on “Man Up,” it’s an alternate take on Aretha’s “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” that delivers the real with a flair, calling him out—and telling him just how it is.
When so many songs are clever rather than honest, Lane delivers no-nonsense reality. Not setting out to flex Lynn’s “Fist City,” there’s feminism as oxygen in acknowledging love happens (“Out Of My Mind”), falls apart (“Want My Heart Back”) and walks out (“Wild One”) and accepting the force of the emotions along the way. (http://www.pastemagazine.com/)
◊ "For her hotly anticipated sophomore album Nashville songstress Nikki Lane teamed up with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys for a record that turns the vulnerable singer-songwriter stereotype on its ears. With songs that crucify ex-boyfriends, celebrate one-night stands (as long as she can bolt town right after) and proclaim it s always the right time to do the wrong thing, Lane comes across like a modern-era Wanda Jackson, albeit with more oats to sow. My songs always paint a pretty clear picture of what's been going on in my life, so this is one moody record, she says. There's lots of talk of misbehaving and moving on."
◊ Décidemment tres actifs les "Black Keys, en ce moment...
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By STEPHEN THOMPSON
April 27, 201411:03 PM ET
◊ Many young singers are stalked by an ill-fitting, virtually unshakable descriptor, whether it's a limiting and vaguely dismissive adjective ("quirky," for example) or a limiting and vaguely dismissive noun ("songstress," to pick one that should be banished from the language and buried under 10,000 pounds of rock salt). For Nikki Lane, that descriptor seems to be "outlaw country" — a generally defensible expression, but one that can subtly imply an element of posturing, even posing.
◊ Neither word in that phrase does justice to Lane's bold, idiosyncratic sound. She's country by virtue of her places of origin as much as anything else; aside from a slight twang and a tendency toward wordplay, Lane just as readily resides in the worlds of rock 'n' roll, confessional singer-songwriters, and impeccably groomed girl-group throwbacks. As for the word "outlaw," in this case that's just a catch-all for tough-minded lyrics in which she aggressively pursues things she's not supposed to want (see: "Sleep With a Stranger") rather than staying safe or hoping something comes to her. There's swagger to her lyrics — "It's always the right time to do the wrong thing" — but it's not preening so much as self-aware, with an all-important note of weariness.
◊ On her second album, All or Nothin' — produced by The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, because that's the law nowadays — Lane worked with decades-old gear to produce a sound that sprawls across eras and pauses for the occasional wink. (This is, after all, a performer who also maintains a vintage-clothing store called "High Class Hillbilly.") The effect never feels merely nostalgic, and it never seems insincere. Instead, All or Nothin' simply sounds like the work of a performer who knows when to embrace her contradictions: classic and modern, iconoclastic and approachable, country and rock, urban and rural. That may make her somebody's outlaw, but let's get at least this much straight: Nikki Lane is nobody's songstress. Fortaken: http://www.npr.org/
|Nikki Lane — All Or Nothin' |