Lindsay Ell explores the Kübler-Ross model of grief in her latest album

#country #albumreview

Canadian singer, songwriter and guitarist Lindsay Ell has decided to use the basis of grieving after a breakup as the focus of her latest album. Following the stages of grief in order, she jumps right in with denial on "Hit Me". It doesn't take too long for you to realise that Ell has a clear knack of penning tunes that are hugely commercial and have lyrical depth despite their poppy nature. As a writer, she has tremendous versatility and it's probably only a matter of time before she starts writing for other artists too.

"I Don't Love You" is a passionate country ballad and shows off Ell's vocal power. A few tracks later "Wrong Girl" delivers another punchy and empowering song on an album that wears its heart on its sleeve.

The album's candid approach almost feels like a therapy session at times, but it's the penultimate track where the trust we've built up with Ell is really tested. On "Make You", Ell is ready to bare all to her listeners and reveals her own experiences of sexual violence. The brutal honesty of the track encompasses all the stages of grief within 4 minutes. It's a song that tells of resistance, strength and survival.

"Ell has a clear knack of penning tunes that are hugely commercial and have lyrical depth despite their poppy nature."

Although defined as a country artist, there's plenty more on offer from the bluesy tones of the excellent "The Other Side" to the assertive anger in the rocky "Get over You". There's likely to be comparisons to other female country stars here, but while there's a lineage, Ell's work is self-assured enough for her to stand apart as an artist and writer.

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