Published Apr 06, 2018In the four years since the release of her acclaimed debut, We Loved Her Dearly, singer-songwriter Lowell has been a chameleon of sorts, embracing myriad sounds and styles, and outfitting each subsequent release in a new energy. After wading through saccharin pop ballads and a few instances of electropop on albums prior, her sophomore effort, Lone Wolf, is her most fierce and innovative yet.
The album starts off remarkably strong, with three tracks that hit like a slap in the face, with heavy percussion, enormous arcs of guitar, and powerful keys. "War Face," "Bitter Rivals" and "Runaways" could float the entire album if need be, but Lone Wolf surprises by working with alt-pop (heavy on the alt) that's still enmeshed in dance floor throwdowns and brilliant melodies.
Lowell pushes the theme of self-discovery on Lone Wolf, bridging the divide between youth and maturity while examining it all through the lens of her past teenage self. And while you can expect to hear a few clichés in the mix, for the most part Lowell's lyrics are poignant punches thrown by individual experience while filling universal space. "Bang Bang" drips with a high school angst I think most of us can get behind, even decades later; Lowell cuts through the chorus with the lyrics "the shit we do for love, it's sick."
Winding down, the album scales back on the ferocity and ushers in a raw, exposed soundscape, not losing its bite, but relying more on vocal prowess and stripped-down instrumentals to convey the same self-portrait. Lone Wolf is more than just your ordinary pop album. (Arts & Crafts)