Stranger Me

Stranger Me

Amy LaVere doesn’t much care for niceties. She’ll kill her lover, if need be. Not surprisingly then, she opens Stranger Me, her first album in four years, with the impatient “Damn Love Song” where she appeases a guy by finally writing a song about him as she walks out the door. “Red Banks” is another dark, twisted love song where a body is taken away by the river. “You Can’t Keep Me” again poises this Southern singer-songwriter as a defiant one-woman show. She doesn’t seem to have relationships so much as episodes with her various lovers. This mental toughness is matched by a backing band that plays as loud, angry and dirty as the songs demand. It’s with a touch of shock that LaVere remolds avant-rocker’s Captain Beefheart’s “Candle Mambo” into her own piece and then turns around and tears up with the airy ballad “Cry My Eyes Out.” Stranger Me is an emotionally intense collection that never betrays her unflinching honesty.

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