Every year it happens that I miss an album that should have been covered and could have finished in the top albums for the year. In 2018, one of the biggest misses I made was Laura Jean Anderson’s impeccable album Lonesome No More. Fans of the collision point of classic singer songwriters, folk, and even country music will absolutely fall head over heels for this album.
The opener is the title track “Lonesome No More” that is as much jazzy lounge track as it is folk, but Anderson croons straight through to your heart. It’s about getting lost with someone and wanting them to stay with you. It’s beautiful and sweet.
“Take It Back Now” packs much more of a rock punch. There’s an attitude in the vocal on this one. There are some comparative vocalists here, but honestly Anderson has her own style that will have you dancing. The lyrics about regret hit a bit too close to home for me, so let’s just say this one gets my concert girl voice going.
“Love You Most” might just be the class of the album. It’s got a soulful sincerity to it that melts my heart. I am put in mind of artists like Carol King packing a powerful hit potential as well as a soulful sincerity. I genuinely love this track!
“Call It What It Is” has a dusky, smokey quality that really stands out on the album. It’s a bit bluesy, a bit mysterious, but yet has a modern composition element to it that feels distinctly present day. The juxtaposition of Anderson’s timeless vocal and the contemporary composition style works really well. When you get to the chorus on this one, it’ll knock you straight off your feet!
The final track “Who Am I To You?” brings home the bluesy heart of the album perfectly. Anderson’s crooning over the exceptional piano tone makes for something that you swear you’ve heard before but you probably haven’t. It’s Americana sweetness combined with brokenhearted lyrical brightness. I could listen to this one over and over.
If you haven’t picked up on it by now, I really like this album. It almost defies description, but I did my best to explain the way that Anderson’s vocals steal the show in the midst of some complex production. You get the sense that she could sing jazz standards all night and have the crowd go wild, but here we get the benefit of her expressing some of her own feelings in these originals and it brings the listener ever closer to this fascinating artist.
I’m sorry I didn’t cover this in 2018, but I am so glad to have found it. It’ll be on rotation for me throughout 2019 and I hope our readers will give LJA a shot because she is absolutely worth it.