Year of the Album — #053
Amanda Shires – “Carrying Lightning” (2011, 101 Distribution)
Amanda Shires has finally crafted the perfect album to highlight her blend of alt-country and Americana, her reputation having been built through hauntingly devastating lyrics the likes of which none of her contemporaries can equal.
Carrying Lightning is one of those albums which captures a musical moment perfectly; “When You Need A Train It Never Comes” is such a spot-on representation of the desperation the bulk of Americans continue to feel in this time of recession, feeling like every choice is a matter of selecting a lesser evil. The song also happens to be Shires’ most mindblowing hook to date, and judging her complete discography, that’s a lofty statement.
The rest of the album builds on that level of raw cut-to-the-bones honesty to create an incisive, brilliant piece of modern Americana which demands to be played, then played again. If she’s going to be continually knocked around by love, here’s a thanks to a higher power that she’s got the tools in her possession to write about it and give such a candid glimpse. Carrying Lighting, more than any album in 2011, shows what a powerful voice can do.
It truly is lightning in a bottle, and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll drink you some.