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ALBUM REVIEW: Lindi Ortega – Liberty (2018)

Lindi Ortega’- Liberty

A couple of years ago, with little money in her bank account, approaching 40 and feeling burnt out, Lindi Ortega contemplated giving music up but instead she left her label, management and agent, got engaged and left Nashville and moved to Calgary. That led to the release of her EP Til The Goin’ Gets Gone which re-inspired to move forward creatively and professionally. Liberty is the next step of that journey.

Less high energy and rockabilly-leaning than previous albums, Liberty finds Ortega presenting a sweeping vista of emotions and realisations, across three sections, each bookmarked by versions of the instrumental track Through The Dusk. The arc of the record is from darkness to light, helplessness and anger to hope and optimism, and it works, without ever feeling like an overt concept album. The other distinguishing feature of Liberty is a greater embrace of Ortega’s Mexican heritage and the dusty, windswept desert sound of mariachi and Morricone, filtered through the forlorn end of country music. 

You Ain’t Fooling Me stands out with its pop undercurrent while single The Comeback Kid marks the turning point of the album before the beautiful, dreamy, sway and positivity of In The Clear places the singer’s turmoil in the rearview mirror. We’re left with the title track, in all its Tarantino-esque desert-noir glory. As the heroine rides into the sunset it finally sounds like Ortega’s found that balance between her art and her heart.

CHRIS FAMILTON

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