Liv Sings: Love Songs For The Forlorn And Misguided
“Careless like thunder, broken for life,” sings Liv Mueller on “Salvation,” from her recently released solo effort, Liv Sings: Love Songs For The Forlorn And Misguided. Mueller channels those emotions into something more thoughtful than that of the edgy rocker she’s become mostly known as. Rock ’n’ roll suited her as Liv Lovely of Milwaukee’s the Lovelies (and her subsequent, atmospheric Dark Horse Project), but on Songs For The Forlorn, Mueller takes the torch of the unrequited and finds strength in going solo. Although she may be riding an inspiration wave that flows from those “broken” and tumultuous depths, the album is filled with buoyantly bitter vignettes that are both strikingly potent and sweetly haunting.
Songs For The Forlorn begins with a proper intro (“One More Time”) where Mueller sets a dark, shadowy scene, a la Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang,” establishing the storyline for the songs to follow. Bridging the places traveled by the Lovelies and the Dark Horse Project, Mueller strips those former full sounds down to nothing more than her voice and guitar. Here, Mueller finally homes in on her voice and gives it a full spotlight. She also plays it up with a proper dose of loneliness on her guitar, which reverbs and twangs—a truly pretty combination, showcased nicely on heartbreakers “Salvation,” “Crazy Arms,” and “Wish You May,” balancing nicely with the ramped-up effects and energy of “Long Gone” and “Let It Roll.” Veering from triumphant retaliation to somber contemplation (“This Kind Of Love,” “Father Angel”), Love Songs For The Forlorn And Misguided makes quick turns from vim to reluctance, with Mueller playing with shadows like a protégé of David Lynch. It’s moody, yes, but satisfyingly so.