Lissie's latest LP release Back To Forever feels like a record that could have come out fifteen years ago. But just because it doesn't scream new and ground-breaking, doesn't mean it's not a good attempt at the "difficult second album" from the California-dwelling songwriter. Heavily hyped for her debut release, Catching A Tiger, with songs appearing on TV shows like House, as well as a stint as support on Lenny Kravitz's 2008 tour, Lissie has developed a solid reputation for herself as a solo artist. Back To Forever showcases once again her very strong vocal talent and great ability to tell a story.

There is something very country about this release. The way Lissie has created very narrative, guitar-based songs, with her as the central protagonist, leads me to feel she could be the Dolly Parton of our generation. Cute promotional photos on her official website show Lissie in jeans walking down the railtracks, looking outdoorsy and fresh-faced completely chime with the feel of the music. Perhaps it's just being American and a solo singer-songwriter, it's impossible to avoid the country way. This could be the timely reincarnation that the folk/rock genre needs - it's clearly worked well for Taylor Swift.

On 'Mountaintop Removal', and many other songs on Back To Forever, Lissie's voice shines best when the backing is removed. A capella is something her powerful voice can easily handle, and in the pared down verses is possibly where some of her most charming musical motifs occur, as frequently the roaring instrumental accompaniment in each chorus gets the better of her. There is no grand musical innovation present on this album; nothing genre-breaking or particularly progressive. What Lissie does do well is tell timeless stories in a classic way. Back To Forever is a collection of genuine, heartfelt and expressive songs which no doubt speak to people. She speaks of universal themes from personal experience: relationships, regrets, frustration in everyday life.

My initial reaction on hearing the first song 'The Habit' was wholly positive. This is energised, upbeat music, pop and girl-orientated - it no doubt has a large market. Whilst the end effect isn't ground-breaking, there is still clear experimentation on Lissie's part. On 'Shameless', the unusual rhythm of the verses shows her playful spirit and the will to make original music. What I fear is the problem, is too much meddling with the source material. What started out as presumably guitar/vocal simple compositions, have been over-produced into very commercial-sounding, dare I say generic, pop songs. They work well in the sense they are fast, roaring, exciting and catchy, but I consistently feel the desire to strip back to basics. Every fleeting moment of intriguing, melodic beauty on Back To Forever is delicate, pure, a capella vocal.

This girl is not Kylie; nobody needs to double-track Lissie's voice to make it sound decent. And there is just a real, aggravating feeling of injustice that her record company have taken her raw talent in this direction. It is hard to discern how much input artists have in the final result. Maybe a more simplistic approach would have seemed too "poor" to a big cheese label like Columbia, who can clearly afford all the session musicians under the sun.

Maybe I can't see the wood for the trees. It could be that Lissie doesn't want to be the American Laura Marling, but rather rock out like her 90s hero Sheryl Crow. This ambition is also respectable, as is her sizeable talent.