Album Review

Lydia Loveless - Boy Crazy EP

Released November 5, 2013
Amy Sand
Lydia Loveless released the EP Boy Crazy on November 5, her first album since 2011. Not only is the title-track the most enduring tune, but Boy Crazy also aptly describes the theme of the disc. If you’re looking for a reference point, you might think of Loveless as counter culture’s answer to Taylor Swift, pop culture’s queen of the date-and-tell lifestyle. On paper it’s easy to compare Swift and Loveless: two young, female, country-focused musicians with a taste for love and all its mysteries. Of course, for those who have heard both songstresses' tunes, this comparison is comical; as Loveless’s sexual diction would cause any Swifty to immediately tear up.

The five-track EP beings with a touch of Rock n' Roll in “All I Know”, a love story where the details get in the way. Loveless rhymes mouthfuls with ease (another commonality with Swift) “How many times did I think if I went away/ And put some distance between us I would be okay/ but it was 9 hours on a plane/ and I feel exactly the same.” It’s fast-paced, indelible country.

“All the Time” is an internal battle of changing. “First I try to let you/ Then I pull you close.../The thing that I do all the time/ I never will again.” The story matches the sound and we’re sent spinning in circles with a racing country waltz. Loveless likes to push buttons. On the 60’s-girl-group-goes-trailor-punk, “Lover’s Spat” she walks the line between the intensity of love and domestic abuse. “We can get into a little fight/ and when the cops get called you can hide in the closet/or behind my back/why don’t they understand/it’s just a lover’s spat.” It’s difficult to take her word for it.

Loveless’s best shines when her hormones do. On the sing along song “Boy Crazy” she lets them loose on the town, both coyly: “I wish I was his wife/not really though” and blatantly: “When he lifts up his arms/ he makes me so wet/I’d give anything for a night on his bed.” It’s the nasty side of a crush complete with genuine desperation. What’s not to love?

At this time in modern music, bold female sensuality is usually seen and not heard. Major pop stars like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and even Taylor Swift refuse to label themselves as feminists. Perhaps it’s due to a warped definition or, unfortunately more likely, the fear of low record sales. In this slut shaming, don’t scare off a potential lay world of female sensuality, Loveless brings us an account of love and sex with no eye on the outside world. In fact, most of her characters are at the mercy of their men, as the women are slaves to their emotions. Traditionally, this would come off as weak or even the dreaded needy. Here’s hoping there’s a paradigm shift happening out there and that the honesty of insecurities can be seen as a strength.

The disc closes with “Water”, the only ballad to make an appearance. Even though this is the least memorable (perhaps due to her lack of anger and therefore, intensity), there is no doubt that Loveless can both sing, and sing well. She understands that the relevance of music lies in connection. She gives us that connection by being real. And being real is genderless.