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It must be weird to survey the current musical landscape as Lissie. When the Illinois-born folk/country/pop artist arrived on the scene back in 2010, very few people were creating the kind of acoustic pop, but with a real emphasis on pop, that she was. Indeed, her break-out single 'The Longest Road' was co-written by DJ Morgan Page, whilst her first EP featured a song co-written by Ed Harcourt. Mix all of this pop mentorship and her own husky but powerful vocal, and you have a potent mix of folk-pop.

However, in 2016, the pop landscape has changed and one woman has declared pop with a country tinge very much her own, the inescapable Taylor Swift. Yes, she might have deviated from this mixture on more recent releases, but her dominance is still hard to ignore. The question with Lissie's newest offering My Wild West is whether she can reclaim the sound.

For those of you with no patience, the answer is yes. My Wild West is tight pop writing, coupled with sprinkles of country. But, obviously, it's much more than that. The album is almost a concept piece, centred around, you guessed it, the wild west, or more specifically, Hollywood. Opener 'My Wild West Overture' sets the tone; a lush, instrumental introduction, creating the mood for the rest of the album. The next two tracks, 'Hollywood' and 'Wild West', whilst not exactly subtle, lay the scene for this. "I fell in love with California/ I fell in love with the dream" Lissie croons in that voice of hers, husky and powerful, on 'Hollywood', "No matter how they try and warn ya/ you fall apart at the seems." Although blunt and cliché, the big piano chords and sparse instrumentation pull hard enough on the heartstrings to get you to want to know more. 'Wild West' surprises though, a complete departure from any of her folk leaning. Synth chords sweep, and big four-to-the-floor drums pound. It's the perfect setting for Lissie to really open those pipes and the whole song is a showcase, a reminder of another one of her talents.

It's when she drops back in her guitars and country stomp though that the album really comes alive. 'Daughters' is a testament to this, and easily the album highlight.. A few of the middle tracks lack of pace can make the album drag, but when 'Daughters' hits, and boy does it hit, you're woken up instantly. Harmonies dance in and out of each other as she asserts "We are daughters, we are the sisters who/ carry the water, we are the mothers too/ We are the other." It's an even more powerful sentiment when being sung through Lissie's powerful lungs. Again, subtle it is not, but with a message as important as that, why use subtlety? It's a big feminist anthem, whose power lies in its unabashed simplicity and raucous cry to unite.

Whilst not enjoying the same amount of attention or hype as her first few releases, My Wild West finds Lissie experimenting but still within the confines of her slick pop writing. It's an album made by an artist who is still top of her game.

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