Country music has long explored the themes of love, loss and death. Liberty is an album that explores both themes at length - all with one of the most powerful vocalists in country (or any other genre) music: Lindi Ortega.
The most obvious example of exploring those themes is “The Comeback Kid.” In this story, the narrator is shot three times - including once in the head but is resurrected. She comes back to haunt her assailant. The way she sings the song - especially the climax - is chilling. This is anything but a psychobilly song, but it is as haunting as any psychobilly murder ballad you can think of.
“The Comeback Kid” is a powerful song, but it’s definitely not the only one. “Til My Dyin’ Day” is heartbreaking. The melody is as mellow as you would expect in a song about losing someone special. The pedal steel adds a fittingly sad sound to the song. And when you hear Ortega sing the lyrics, there is an equal chance that you’ll get both chills and choked up.
“Pablo” is a revelation simply because it gives you the opportunity to hear Ortega sing in Spanish, which is just as much of a treat as hearing her sing in English. This is a song about a singer with a guitar who captivates the narrator. That's all you know about the relationship between Pablo and the narrator. It’s simply a beautiful song.
While loss and death are prevalent themes, there is also a pure love song on the album, “Lovers in Love”. Fittingly, the song is a duet, and it is as good as your favorite country duet. On top of the great harmony vocals and story, this song also features Country Music Hall of Fame member Charlie McCoy on harmonica. It’s easy to imagine this song becoming a favorite among couples everywhere.
This album feels a lot like a soundtrack to a spaghetti western. Ortega’s vocals are pure and her stories are so haunting that they sometimes hit like a punch to the gut. If you’re a fan of country music at all, you should add this to your collection.