With a solo career that now spans four studio albums and a
pair of live sets, Amy Ray has shown she can stand quite comfortably on her own
outside the parameters of her partnership with co-Indigo Girl Emily Saliers.
Left to her own devices, Ray takes a more tenacious approach, venturing well
beyond the precious posture that’s made the duo’s work a reliable communal bond
for their dedicated and diehard followers. “When You’re Gone, You’re Gone,” the
first track of the new album, demonstrates the assertiveness of that stance,
propelled by a steady groove and a determined vocal that make no mistake of her
earnest intents. And yet, it may be one of the more restrained songs on the
record. Feisty rockers play a predominant role here, from the brashly buoyant
“Glow” and “Little Revolution” to the edgier environs of “Crying in the
Wilderness” and “Lung of Love.”
It’s not that Ray’s become incapable of playing the fretting
folkie, or, in the case of “The Rock Is My Fountain,” a Gospel-singing devotee.
Strumming mandolin and buoyed by the backing vocals of pal Brandi Carlile, she
sings a song that resonates with both faith and assurance: “The Rock is my foundation/Jesus
is at the Bass/God is on the Kick Drum/And the Holy Spirit Sings.” Regardless, it’s in her guise as a taut new wave rocker and an
unapologetic upstart that Ray finds ultimate redemption, allowing Lung of Love to come across like another
breath of fresh air.
You’re Gone, You’re Gone,” “The Rock Is My Fountain,” “Crying in the
Wilderness” LEE ZIMMERMAN
Watch for the BLURT
interview with Amy Ray soon….