The Joup Friday Album: Nikki Lane – All or Nothin’

NikkiLane-AllOrNothin-ADAMost reviews of Nikki Lane’s second album, All or Nothin’, released in 2014, say one of two things — they either concentrate on the album’s producer — Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys — or they talk a lot about how Lane is a rougher, less polished brand of country music, comparing her to Dusty Springfield, Loretta Lynn, Wanda Jackson or Tammy Wynette. While Auerbach certainly had something to do with the sound of the record, and Lane cites Jackson as an influence on her Facebook site, saying both of those things really shortchanges the star of the record, which is Lane herself. As a songwriter and singer, she puts forth an honest record, an expression of where she was at and what she was thinking at the time it was recorded.

The first cut on the album, “Right Time,” is a perfect encapsulation of what it’s like to knowingly and willfully make the wrong decision. We’ve all been there, we’ve all done it, and this song owns it for us. Other songs, such as “You Can’t Talk To Me Like That,” really hit the nail on the head about relationships that we can’t walk away from, even when they drive us crazy. She’s really adept at funneling the truth about what it’s like to get a little crazy sometimes, but she’s also great at recognizing when a relationship needs to end, as evidenced by the track “Man Up.” Lane is mature enough to know what she’s doing, that it doesn’t necessarily make sense, but that she’s going to do it anyway and own the consequences.

Which is precisely why this album is different from most of what’s out there today. It’s very real, very earthy and very genuine. It’s not nice, it’s not “naughty.” It’s real life, which isn’t always pretty, but can hold both heartache and a little bit of heaven.

As always, if you dig this record please go out and buy it – especially the vinyly! It’s Sweee-eeet! We support musicians.

Tag Shawn!

Sara Farr

Sara Farr

Sara Farr is currently an adjunct marketing instructor at the School of Advertising Art. Previously, she worked as a graphic designer at Variety for six years, and spent 10 years before that as a music writer for various Midwestern and Los Angeles-based newspapers and magazines. Her work appears in “The Little Black Book, Music: Over a Century of the Greatest Artists, Albums, Songs, Performances and Events That Rocked the Music World.”

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