If the true measure of a country album is its ability to craft wistful songs of heartbreak and lonely travel, then Lorene is surely a winner. Clocking in at 16 songs, Lorene is a carefully controlled tour of Texas alt-country. Left Arm Tan guides us through the foibles of the narrators with well-placed harmonies, juicy hooks, and the smoothest rhythm section this (or that?) side of the Mississippi.
In spite of the unorthodox album art, Lorene is bread-and-butter country, but it's delicious bread. "Gonna Find Me a Rock" showcases the band's more playful side, and picks up from the band's previous album, Alticana. But Lorene instead takes a sober (well, as sober as a country album's gonna be) look at aging and past mistakes. "Always Gone" is, to me, the deepest of the set, examining a failed partnership that turns the tables on certain gender expectations. The narrator's pain and isolation are deeply felt throughout the song.
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