Lissie – “Back to Forever” Review

“Sepia-toned female fronted rock with sweet, alt-country vocal arches”

Back to Forever positions Lissie, the Ojai, California-via-Illinois songwriter, within slick golden rhythms, precisely honed melodies, occasional freewheeling and Lissie’s characteristic dirtied, sun-baked tone. Comparison with Bella Donna-era Stevie Nicks defies criticism. Her hard-wrought songwriting brings out Lissie’s life on the road, tending the edge and the unsympathetic truth, blistered beneath the polished veneer.

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Lissie could be the modern woman country music desperately needs, holding her ground in the banal wash of long-tall dudes singing about beer-thirty and “girls.” Her jubilant, take-no-shit untamable voice soars like Patsy Cline, ringing true to good ol’ American swagger. Songs like “The Habit” and “I Don’t Want To Go To Work” feature Lissie’s bold temperamental octaves, arching over rambling acoustic strums, thumping percussion and harmonized choruses. Harvesting more genres than her previous, Catching a Tiger, an inarguable alt-country release, Back to Forever taps the ’80s vein with “Can’t Take it Back,” “Sleepwalking” and “Further Away,” the latter stirring a midnight heartthrob rhythm, flat danceable beat, chirping electric guitars and call-and-response harmonies.

Her seeming departure to the solely alt-country genre may alienate fans expecting more songs like “Little Lovin’,” an eternal jam, but Lissie continues to adapt and mature.

Lissie Back to ForeverLissie
Back to Forever
Ojai, CA
(Fat Possum)
Recorded at The Garage in Topanga Canyon, Seahorse Sound Studios, LA and Brotheryn in Ojai by Sam Bell, Jacknife Lee and Matt Bishop
Mixed at Decoy Studio by Cenzo Townshend
Produced by Jacknife Lee

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