Lex Land: Were My Sweetheart to Go


Were My Sweetheart to Go…, the second album by Austin chanteuse Lex Land, finds the singer continuing to cover themes of loss and unrequited love. A more introspective take on the topics, however, reveals a more confident songstress. The melancholia is still there (“Finally thought something might work out alright, but then it died during the Ides of March”) but Land seems better able to deal with it now.

Rather than obsessing over her passion, Land recognizes that if the love she needs isn’t there, it’s best to move on. “Pas De Deux” compares a relationship to a ballet duet, where both dancers are responsible for making the performance work. “I know I want more but how much longer will I have to wait for it?” she asks. In the jazz-tinged “Someone New on My Mind,” Land looks at the positive aspects of a deteriorating relationship by focusing on the bad parts she will no longer have to endure.

Musically Were My Sweetheart to Go… is rooted in folk and pop traditions. Several songs have the hooks and sing-along choruses to appeal to the Colbie Caillat crowd. It is Land’s jazzy vocal stylings, the perfectionism a product of years studying opera, though, that allow her to rise above the singer-songwriter archetype. Land’s voice is new leather, appearing soft and smooth but with a rough texture that can be felt under the surface. Alternating between beautiful crooning and a raspy sneer, Land portrays an accessible cynicism that easily invokes empathy. Were My Sweetheart to Go… may deal with the what-if’s of relationships, but that doesn’t mean Land is prone to second guessing. Judging by the quality of her sophomore effort, it is clear that her instincts can be trusted.

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