Hannah Aldridge – Razor Wire (Rating 4.5 out of 5)

hannahYou would be hard pressed to find an album in 2014 that is more symbiotically named than Razor Wire, the new album from Country Folk artist on the rise, Hannah Aldridge. Her debut album is a razors edged stunner from the opening track “You Ain’t Worth the Fight,” where she brazenly confronts an old flame, “I’m leaving you behind like an old snakeskin” pretty much says it all, to “Parchman” where she takes us inside the head of a convict on death row, and the emphatic “Howlin’ Bones,” a rocker that could have been featured on any season ending episode of Sons of Anarchy, True Detective, or even Breaking Bad.

The title track showcases the back of the room pipes that Aldridge possesses scaled back a bit against a guitar and a piano landscape that supports this breathtakingly vulnerable tune, and “Black and White,” another slowed down number is an autobiographical affair that takes her behind the church sneaking her first kiss back home in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

There really is no filler on this record.  The musicianship is first rate led by guitarist Andrew Sovine, with Jason Isbell’s band making a guest appearance on a cover of “Try,” the only song not written by Aldridge and her band.

“Lie Like You Love Me” might be the best song of the record where the opening lines “I miss you like morphine, straight to my veins. I know I shouldn’t be here, but I’m here anyway.  I swear I’ll be gone when the sun hits your eyes, but if you don’t mind, lie like you love me tonight”  are delivered with with the passion of a lover that knows exactly what she wants, and will stop at nothing to get it.

If you like your Americana a bit on the dark side, you will love this record.