Lissie: Back to Forever


Back to Forever
(Sony Music Entertainment UK)

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“If you don’t know what my name is, so what?,” Lissie asks on the sensational track, “Shameless.” This sort of attitude is why I think Lissie is one of the coolest chicks in music today. She’s fearless but vulnerable, more interested in nature than image, and not afraid to call the industry out on its bullshit.

Lissie’s debut album, Catching a Tiger, was a catchy sort of folk with Southern rock influence. As a followup, Back to Forever has managed to improve on the things that made the first record great—Lissie’s powerful yelp, intoxicating guitar, the sense of wide open spaces—while adding in some interesting surprises.

There are bits of pop and electro influence, but Lissie knows well how to just pull out what will enhance her music. Opening track “The Habit” has a bit of an ‘80s feel with the guitar work and electronic beat, as does “Sleepwalking.” “Love in the City” is a plaintive track that could end up on any modern pop station, and anyone who’s been single in a city could easily relate.

While there are plenty of songs about heartbreak and love here, Lissie’s rebellious rock tunes are what I love best. “I Don’t Wanna Go to Work” is a definite anthem to chant on a weeknight out while dreading the day job, while “Cold Fish” is a giant, cocky boast. These are big Southern rock riffs with lyrics like, “And lastly it must get taxing trying to surpass me.” Whether she’s telling off someone she knows or haters of all sorts, it’s a great attitude for other women to emulate.

Do you want acoustic songs? Done. Ballads? They’re here. Jams to rock out to? Sold. Back to Forever is the total package.

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