After four albums, Lindi Ortega has kept her sound relatively down-to-earth, never adjusting it in an attempt to break into any sort of mainstream, whether country or otherwise, and sticking with a similar style across all her records. It’s more appropriate to hear her coming through crackly speakers down at the old tavern than the car radio. And while Faded Gloryville can serve as another conversation piece in the greater discussion on country music today, it is perhaps best served without that extra baggage.
That’s one of the things that makes Lindi’s fourth record with Last Gang Records great. There isn’t a backstory required to enjoy it. The lyrics tell you all you need to know about each song, and from there, you have the freedom to go where you want with them.
As with much of her previous records, Lindi stays on the subject of love – whether doomed, lost, mismatched, or about to bloom. She brings just the right amount of feeling in her delivery without overreaching on those sad songs, and on the toe-tappers, she knows when to have fun.
Run-Down Neighbourhood is one such song – a rockabilly-inspired track with lyrics as fun to sing as the music is to move to. When You Ain’t Home takes more of a bluesy-country approach as another of the album’s upbeat recordings.
The record opens with two decidedly slower songs: the single Ashes, which is one of the more traditional sounding ballads Lindi has recorded, with a large chorus backed by an emphasizing kick drum as she sings “don’t leave me in the ashes of your memory.” Following that is the title track, about the reluctant acceptance one faces when realizing hopes and dreams will never come to fruition: “I will not forget the good old days/when I was driven by my will. And I won’t get back all the dues I paid/here in Faded Gloryville.”
It’s the album’s third track, Tell It Like It Is, that really grabs with verses that have such a delicious melody and flirtatious delivery that not only does it sit as the star of the album, it is one of the best country songs to come out this year and possibly one of Lindi’s best, period.
Faded Gloryville gives Lindi Ortega quite a hand as her fourth ace in a row, adding another ten solid tracks to her already impressive discography. Even for people who claim they don’t like country music, anyone who can listen to this album and say they don’t like Lindi probably shouldn’t be trusted.
But you’re trustworthy.
2. Faded Gloryville
3. Tell It Like It Is
4. Someday Soon
5. To Love Somebody
6. When You Ain’t Home
7. Run-Down Neighbourhood
8. I Ain’t The Girl
9. Run Amuck
10. Half Moon