Lee Ann Womack's The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone is a personal album of moody and brooding lyrics with an American roots, country, soul, gospel and blues ambience.
"All the Trouble" and "Wicked" feature gritty tones and smooth vocal production. The title track and country ballad "The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone" is pop-country, while "Someone Else's Heartache" has a flamenco guitar accompaniment to a creamy vocal.
The sexy and sultry cover of "He Called Me Baby" mixes jazz and soul with country and blues. The cover, too similar to Candi Staton's version of Harlan Howard's "She Called Me Baby," adds a distinct vintage vocal effect. Comparably, her version of "Take the Devil Out of Me" by George Jones is almost identical to the original. Neither feels particularly crucial. The mysterious guitar riff in "Hollywood" gives a West coast echo to a directionless and unexpected arrangement, a particular misstep.
Expectations are high with superstar Womack, but with the exception of church anthem "Sunday," which supplies endless Southern comfort, she's delivered a mediocre traditional folk and roots album here. Her move away from pop music on The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone signals a deeper understanding of the country, blues and soul genres, but there aren't enough ideas here to make it succeed. (ATO Records)