Lydia Loveless' 2011 album Indestructible Machine stood out most of all for its utter lack of bullshit. In the Columbus, Ohio-based singer's roaring vocals, in her narrators' lived-in-bars recklessness, and in her overall inability to mince words — even when, say, delivering a witty fable about being stalked by Steve Earle. Somewhere Else, the not-actual-ass-kicker's February 18 follow-up on Bloodshot Records, is characteristically direct, evolving from country-punk rebellion toward, well, no-bullshit rock'n'roll — the twang is still there, just less out in front.
We previously heard the dreamy "To Love Somebody," and now comes "Really Wanna See You," which is more boisterous but just as gut-punching. It's about calling up an old love who got married recently — okay, a familiar concept, but that just goes to show how Loveless manages to to make the everyday her own. As her band bounds ahead, Loveless slurs and stumbles over buried heartache ("Remember how I used to get so emotional, honey / And the phone was right there, so I thought, I dunno..."). She might not be able to help looking back, but her work continues to advance wonderfully. Sounds like bullshit, you say? Well, we can't all write 'em like her.