Lydia Loveless, Aaron Lee Tasjan | Metro | Folk & Country | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Aaron Lee Tasjan

Aaron Lee Tasjan

CURTIS WAYNE MILLARD

Lydia Loveless, Aaron Lee Tasjan 

When: Sat., Nov. 19, 9 p.m. 2016
Price: $23, $21 in advance
Considering the string of shitty bands journeyman singer-guitarist Aaron Lee Tasjan has played in—from glam-rock doofuses Semi Precious Weapons to imported rock mopes Alberta Cross—there was really no reason to expect a solo album from him like this year’s Silver Tears (New West). But he decamped from New York to Nashville in 2013, and something seems to have changed; this entertaining record, cut earlier this year in Los Angeles, conveys a personality split between those two cities. The first track, “Hard Life,” summons the kooky side of Harry Nilsson, evoking the vibe of his novelty hit “Coconut” as Tasjan sings about hiding behind a haze of weed. But then the collection opens up with a series of gorgeous, luminescent roots-pop songs that fall somewhere between Roy Orbison and Rodney Crowell, toggling between twang and the blues, and are each marked by Tasjan’s beautifully limpid quaver. As the album winds down he tosses in a throwaway called “12 Bar Blues,” which is, yup, about 12 different bars and sung in a talking blues style that’s closer to Arlo than Woody Guthrie. But hey, it’s still a million times better than what he was putting down a decade ago. Lydia Loveless, who seems headed in the wrong direction with her slick and bloodless new album Real (Bloodshot), headlines.
— Peter Margasak

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