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Music Review: Lera Lynn's 'The Avenues'
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Music Review: Lera Lynn's 'The Avenues'

Music Reviews

Music Review: Lera Lynn's 'The Avenues'

Music Review: Lera Lynn's 'The Avenues'
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Texas-native Lera Lynn sings about past relationships. But her music moves beyond the one-note storied, country sound. On her latest album, The Avenues, Lynn fuses folk, country, jazz and pop.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

She was born in Texas, raised in Georgia and is based now in Tennessee. You might assume singer Lera Lynn veers toward country, but that's not quite right. Add a little jazz and pop and you're closer. Her new album is called "The Avenues" and reviewer Meredith Ochs says it's somber yet inviting.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I'M YOUR FOOL")

LERA LYNN: (Singing) Your wrench and hatchet bore my back. I'm fierce, I'm hanging myself on your love.

MEREDITH OCHS, BYLINE: Long before you figure out exactly what lyrics Lera Lynn is singing, you'll feel the melancholy and mystery in her music. Wistful melodies and the cry of a steel guitar are set to gentle, meditative rhythms. Even the song's sonic spaces suggest loneliness. With the music alone, Lynn creates a tone poem of romantic uncertainty.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I'M YOUR FOOL")

LYNN: (Singing) I could die in your arms, you wouldn't even be alarmed. I could drown in your glass of wine, you'd never even know the face was mine.

OCHS: Once you delve into the content of Lera Lynn's songs, things really get blue. She's haunted by past relationships, both romantic and familial. Her dad died when she was in her early 20s and some of these songs were written about dealing with that loss.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LEAVE IT UP TO ME")

LYNN: (Singing) It's not that I want to forget forever. I'll bring you back on my own. But won't you please leave it up to me the next I am alone?

OCHS: For Lynn, lost love is a complete sensory experience. She imagines feeling her dad's hand on her shoulder, smelling his lit cigarettes, hearing his truck pull into their driveway. She conjures him everywhere she goes, an attempt to keep her alive in her mind.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LEAVE IT UP TO ME")

LYNN: (Singing) He's riding in the car, he's underneath the bed. He's walking the streets around here. His hand on my shoulder, his whisper in my ear. He's gone but he will never go. You can run but you will never go.

OCHS: All the moody atmospherics on Lera Lynn's new album may come off as one-note. But that's only because Lynn and her band have created a seamless fusion of folk, country, jazz and pop. The songs fit together so evocatively that you won't mind spending some time inside Lynn's heartache.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OUT TO SEA")

LYNN: (Singing) Take me to the lens to bay. Let the waters rush out to tide. Well, this is all a dream and I let it all go.

BLOCK: We're listening to a song from the new album "The Avenues" by Lera Lynn, and it was reviewed for us by Meredith Ochs. She's a talk show host and DJ at Sirius XM Radio.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OUT TO SEA")

LYNN: (Singing) And fear old man me, let it all go. I wish I may, I wish I might ride this wave 'til morning light.

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