The Upshot: Lyrics and melodies so compatible with his country croon that it sounds as effortless as it is engaging.
BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
By this point in his career, you’d think that Jim Lauderdale wouldn’t have any more songs left in him, or at very least have the energy to share those that do remains. After all, as someone known for releasing multiple albums at a time and at least one new record every three or four months, it’s hard to imagine anyone’s inspiration could remain so sustained. So credit Lauderdale with bringing new meaning to the word “prolific,” or at least showing the kind of proficiency that makes his productivity seem like the norm…at least as far as his own particular prowess is concerned.
Unlike his more recent efforts, This Changes Everything isn’t plotted out as a showcase for any particular style or a leapfrog to a new genre. It is instead a set of songs that spotlight what Lauderdale does best, that is, to write songs that parlay a country twang within traditional trappings. All the songs come from Lauderdale’s pen, and yet they feel like standards even at the outset. The latin-flavored rhythms of “We Really Shouldn’t Be Doing This,” the swing and sway of “You Turn Me Around” and the gentle drift of “Drive” find variance, even as he’s tapping the template, giving the album an air of authenticity worthy of any musical master. He’s particular adept at words — his ability to create a chorus that rhymes “Dallas” and “Paris” makes the travelogue about a band that nearly hit the big time, aptly entitled “All the Rage in Paris,” both catchy and concise.
That ability to shape lyrics and melodies so compatible with his country croon has always been an essential part of Lauderdale’s charm. Consequently, that makes This Changes Everything sound as effortless as it is engaging.
DOWNLOAD: “All the Rage in Paris,” “You Turn Me Around,” “Drive”