Lydia Loveless

Boy Crazy EP

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Some women have to live half their lives to sound as tough, confident, and wise as Lydia Loveless does at the ripe old age of 23 on her EP Boy Crazy, her second release for Bloodshot. The title is apt, since the five tunes all deal with relationships in one way or another, and Loveless isn't the least bit shy about expressing her feelings about Mr. Right -- or Mr. Right Now, for that matter. Blessed with a gorgeous voice that splits the difference between a country girl's twang and a rocker's snarl, Loveless also knows just what to do with it, and she can sound just a little bit vulnerable on "All the Time," sultry but heartbroken on "Water," or like a wild-eyed spitfire on "Lover's Spat," and every time she sounds thoroughly convincing and full of life. Loveless writes her own material, and few female songwriters are as willing to be as blunt about their desires as Loveless is on "Lover's Spat" or the title cut, but Loveless never sounds sleazy or like she's overplaying her hand -- at her best, which is a lot of the time, Loveless sounds like the Midwestern-born, Dixie-fried sister of Lucinda Williams and Polly Jane Harvey, too strong and too smart to be anything but honest and not especially worried about the consequences. "All the Time" would be a huge hit on country radio in a just and better world, and "Lover's Spat" and "Boy Crazy" rock on out like nobody's business (though Lydia's tales of her boyfriend being caught with his pants down or how she feel when he takes off his shirt might keep those songs off the air). Five songs in 20 minutes, and each one is a winner -- Boy Crazy is further proof that Loveless is a major talent, and if her next album is as good as this, she may run the risk of becoming a very big star.

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