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Friday, 1 August 2014

Lindi Ortega – Cigarettes and Truckstops

Canada’s best kept secret churns out an album that is just too Country for its own good. There’s no alt-country leanings on show here, it’s more Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette than Caitlin Rose or Kacey Musgraves and the whole thing proves a little mainstream for my tastes. That’s not to say it’s not a decent album however, as Lindi certainly belts them out with gusto and enthusiasm, and there’s a couple of cracking songs included.

The problem is… even though the album is called Cigarettes and Truckstops and Lindi wants to come over all trailer trashy and country street…she basically can’t pull it off. Lindi has probably never lived in a trailer, caught an oiled piglet or smoked enough cigarettes to build a children’s play fort from the packets. Her dad was probably a vicar, she shops at Sainsburys and will send her kids to private school. That’s how she sounds anyway, which is a good thing really, if you think about it. Kacey beats her hands down in the trash-off anyway.

All the songs have singalong potential but I particularly liked the lilting opener ‘Cigarettes and Truckstops’, the harder edged ‘Don’t Wanna Hear It’ and the beautiful ballad of ‘You lead me on’. Best of all is the bluesy, deep south tale of skulduggery that is ‘Murder of Crows’, it’s an exemplary piece of Country and Western music that would have been a classic at any point in the last century.

So a mixed bag. Great songs, a lovely voice but the whole trailer trash vibe just doesn’t wash. Enjoyable enough but if you’re new to the genre, head for Kacey or Caitlin first.

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