The new record takes a grittier approach than her breakthrough. Ortega is far more free with letting her Outlaw Country influence shine through. It comes right away too, as the album opener, "Hard As This", sounds like the theme song to an old t.v. Western.
The best of Ortega's songs are almost always the one's where she's kicking up dust. This time around she stomps and bellows her way through "Voodoo Mama" and the barnstormer "All These Cats". The snarled line 'I want you to want me' from the rocking "I Want You" is more of a command than a request.
Things get slowed down with the love song "Something For You" and the piano and strings enhanced title track. "Lived and Died Alone" is a hushed and respectful tribute to those unlucky in love.
Ortega takes a hard left-turn with "This Is Not Surreal". The moody, arty track pushes her well out of her comfort zone.
Lyrically, Ortega has made some huge strides. She moves effortlessly from delightfully cheeky on "Waitin' For My Luck To Change" to clever and poignant on "Songs About". She masters storytelling with the narrative of her heading down to Nashville on "Gypsy Child", a rambunctious highlight.
With her third album, Ortega has proven that she's the real deal. All I can say is that I'm happy for her to keep 'em coming.
Lindi Ortega plays the Great Hall in Toronto on October 24th.
Best tracks: "I Want You", "Gypsy Child"
Track listing for Tin Star:
- Hard As This
- Gypsy Child
- Tin Star
- Voodoo Mama
- Lived and Died Alone
- I Want You
- This Is Not Surreal
- Something for You
- All These Cats
- Waitin' On My Luck To Change
- Songs About