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Lissie

Back to Forever (Fat Possum)

Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Oct. 4, 2013

ACL Music Fest 2013 Saturday Reviews

Lissie

Back to Forever (Fat Possum)

Although Lissie's initial EPs pigeonholed her as a singer-songwriter, the dusky, soulful pop of her full-length debut, 2010's Catching a Tiger, pushed her sound well beyond folk roots without sacrificing the effectiveness of her powerful vocals. Sophomore album Back to Forever pushes that trajectory even further afield, the Illinois native exploding on opening tracks "The Habit" and "Further Away (Romance Police)" with pure Stevie Nicks dynamism, the latter even scorched by Seventies guitar. "Shameless" clips with a rough, scathing contempt, but "They All Want You" and "Sleepwalking" settle down into smoother, no less emotionally punctured patterns, then burst into rousing climaxes constantly threatening until their inevitable, cathartic release. The anthemic "I Don't Wanna Go to Work" and bitter balladry of "Mountaintop Removal" feel distinctively of the moment, while "Love in the City" and "I Bet on You" brokenly search on a disc of dark corners couched in defiantly bright pop. (3:15pm, Austin Ventures stage)

***.5

ACL 2013 Fest

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