Picture the 80s, the American suburbs, bungalow neighbourhoods and the feeling of opportunity and possibility. You’re about to embark on the start of your life experiences as a free adult. The open road, wild antics and broken hearts.
Lissie captures the perspective of the coming-of-age on Back To Forever where she sings about life experiences from the time one leaves the nest until the settling down.
Mostly she sings about the broken hearts. The cheater in I Bet On You, “You’re gonna break this happy home/for some girl you hardly know.” The one who tried to hold her back in Cold Fish, “We are born and raised in a heartbeat/if I slowed it down would you stick with me.”
But also the unintentional breaks. The drug interference in The Habit, “the heart breaks way before the habit.” She has the self-realization that love isn’t going to be easy to find in Love In The City, “maybe love don’t live in the city.”
Beyond relationships, she has other experiences of rebellion and soul-searching. Mountaintop Removal is a statement on our culture’s need for destruction for construction, “what’s the use of making something new/if all that made us must be ruined.” She kicks the can in I Don’t Wanna Go To Work where she sings “I’ll regret it tomorrow/but tonight pass the bottle.”
She proclaims “I don’t want to be famous/if I got to be shameless,” on Shameless, the somewhat grungy and raw first single that is in no way representative of the album’s overall smooth and polished sound.
One end of the album is 80s-influenced, especially Further Away, which is slightly Lisa Lougheed (think Run With Us, the theme song for the Canadian cartoon The Raccoons) while the other end is the heartfelt reminiscence of childhood that she longs to return to on the title track Back To Forever.
Lissie seems more in her element on this album compared to 2010’s Catching A Tiger. She shines with big hooks that tell of her experiences while keeping true to her folky background of more simpler times.
1. The Habit
2. Further Away (Romance Police)
4. They All Want You
6. I Don’t Wanna Go To Work
7. Mountaintop Removal
8. Love In The City
9. I Bet On You
10. Cold fish
11. Can’t Take It Back
12. Back To Forever