Connie Smith's Long Line Of Heartaches
|This appeared on GAC-TV.com - August 11, 2011|
Though nominated for a Grammy in 2010 on a duet with husband Marty Stuart, Connie Smiths new album, Long Line of Heartaches, is the first time the classic country singer can be heard on a full release of her own since 1998s self-titled effort. Long Line of Heartaches, a collection of 12 burning tracks, is a poignant return to form as Connie delivers the heartbreak beautifully through her timeless voice.
Connie wrote five of the albums songs with Marty, who serves as the projects producer. Opening with a trademark Connie Smith Sound pedal steel guitar lick, the records title track issues a statement that followers of traditional country should stand on high alert. Oh, it does you no good, when those burning teardrops fall/ sayin everythings gonna be alright to a heart thats seen it all, Connie sings with a vintage honky tonk touch on Long Line of Heartaches, reminiscent of greats like Loretta Lynn. Many of the songs on the album tell stories with heart-wrenching clarity about trying to be as strong as possible in the face of lost love. Surrounded by reverb-heavy guitar on the dreamy Im Not Blue, Connie sings, You may think Im falling apart/ but Im just missin all the love we knew, before admitting, The truth gets hard to say when pride stands in the way/ So just let me lie to you/ Im not blue.
Aint You Even Gonna Cry, a slow, acoustic-based ballad and one of the albums standouts, features Connies voice richly conveying the hurt and dumbfounded disbelief of a woman realizing she cares more than the man shes leaving. Aint you even gonna cry?/ Hell, Im walkin out the door, she asks through the pain. While the instrumentation includes a full band that grows more prominent throughout the song, like the subjects courage to leave, the stripped down arrangement offers the listener a chance to concentrate on Connies vocal and soak up all the tears.
Later in the album, Blue Heartaches works in nice contrast to the mostly traditional country songs with tasteful, bluesy piano fills and some swinging acoustic guitar. Connies voice shines as it takes on soulful new depths singing, I never knew the meaning of lonesome/ til you were gone and I was talkin to the wall. On That Makes Two of Us (written by Kostas, Patty Loveless and Emory Gordy, Jr), emotions run deep in a complicated display of admitting guilt while simultaneously offering forgiveness. Are you sorry just like me? Dont you wish you could erase the things you didnt mean?, Connie tellingly sings before adding, If you look into my eyes youre gonna find/ That makes two of us.
After 13 years, Long Line of Heartaches not only displays that Connie still has that special touch to turn melodies and words into stirring tales of emotion, but that her voice is as sharp as ever while it cuts into raw, universal feelings. Long Line of Heartaches offers a hard look at the complexities of love, and with Connies strong voice leading the discussion, listeners will be hanging on every word.
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