Published Feb 17, 2020A beautiful album of retrospection and insight, Lynne Hanson's Just Words is much more than its unpretentious title may imply. For the unfamiliar, Ottawa's Hanson has been carving a niche for herself within the crowded world of folk-influenced singer-songwriters these past two decades. In 2018, she teamed with mentor and compatriot Lynn Miles for the well-regarded Heartbreak Song for the Radio.
Hanson's albums seem to improve on what came before, and this is true for Just Words, the creation of a lifetime of learning, working and living. With a touch of Mary Chapin Carpenter's introspective sensitivity, Hanson opens with the country-infused "True Blue Moon," singing of the hopelessness of romance when under the spell of a poet. "Just Words" references the lasting hurt of the passing, whispered putdown, the hostility within families, readily applied within both social media and real life.
Hanson's precise use of language captures our attention. She evokes the conflicting impacts of falling in love just a little too quickly in "Hemingway's Songbird."
Produced by Jim Bryson, and featuring a venerable who's who of Canadian music independence (Kevin Breit, Catherine MacLellan, Justin Rutledge, MJ Dandeneau, and Marshall Bureau, among others) Just Words is an impeccable artistic creation.
Sharing elements found within the work of Gretchen Peters, Lucinda Williams (without the jarring guitars) and Kim Richey, Just Words will sit alongside the finest country-Americana albums one will encounter in 2020. (Independent)