Lindi Ortega – “Tin Star”
Since well before it rised to the status of Music City as David Cobb dubbed it in the ’50s, Nashville TN has always and constantly been welcoming flocks of musicians that arrive for shows and some even settle in, everybody in search of a spotlight in the country music scene or simply to get inspiration for making their favorite kind of music.
Having already received the favor of critics for the two previous releases, the 2011’s Juno Award-nominated “Little Red Boots” and last year’s Polaris Prize listed “Cigarettes and Truckstops”, the Nashville based by way of Toronto Lindi Ortega is back with “Tin Star”, her third album in as many years and it’s fair to say that she delivers once again.
Bewitchingly seductive in her trademark red boots, she has the ability to don the country dark lady dress while singing with a honey coated voice. Though the core concept of the record is autobiographical, it doesn’t lack of themes like love, death, bad decisions and booze. Definitely twang oriented, it mainly sways between rockabilly and slow murder ballads, all crafted with a modern and original twist.
The opener “Hard As This” is a captivating foot stomper, and on the same pattern the powerful and feisty “All These Cats”. The roots rocker “Gipsy Child” summarizes her all-dedicated-to-music life journey and reaffirms her future intentions crying out “I’ll be singing ‘til my dying day”.
Lindi just doesn’t content herself of making music for a living. Now she’s only a “Tin Star” amid all those golden stars as fiercely sung in the title track, rightly and proudly striving for a proper place in the hyped country scene, yet her take is more ironic than dramatic “”I wrote this song for those who are like me: lost in the shining stars of Nashville, Tennessee”.
Holding on a vibrant note, determination and resoluteness are also showcased in “I Want You” and she knows exactly what she wants.”Voodoo Mama” is another raucous barn burner, an hymn to the Southern spirit of Louisiana.
The other side of the album is made up by more lyrical and slower moments like ““Lived and Died Alone”, a moving story where she’s sympathetically close to all those people who have never known love in their lives, or “Something For You”, about finding the right words to express the sentiments.
Then switching to the autobiographical mode in “Waiting For My Luck To Change”, this tune exemplarly displays her tremulous vocals that are a distinctive mark throughout the collection, as in the haunting atmosphere of “This Is Not Surreal”.
If it’s true that the current state of mainstream country and radio stations needed some substance and passion, Ms. Ortega’s music and character would be exactly what it takes to revive the genre and not just being confined in the alternative country scenario.That’s what we Americana lovers hope about her and “Tin Star”, a star which deserves to shine brightly in the 2013 best albums’ sky.