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Lissie – Catching A Tiger

Lissie, Catching A Tiger

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4.5 out of 5

THE burden of expectation can be a terrible thing… one minute, you’re being hailed as the next big thing; the next, you’ve failed to fulfil your potential.

When Midwestern newcomer Lissie Maurus – Lissie for short – released her Why You Runnin’ EP last year, critics were moved to proclaim her as peerless, untouchable, and a bona fide superstar in the making.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, those same critics have now greeted her debut album with something of a lukewarm response. It’s not that Lissie has disappointed, but failed to live up to expectation in their eyes.

Fortunately, she shines in ours! Catching A Tiger IS a great debut LP from a terrific new star. Yes, it embraces easygoing country-folk-pop vibes, and channels the memories of both Fleetwood Mac and Sheryl Crow at its laidback best.

But it also mixes these radio friendly elements up with some steps away from the mainstream, where Lissie gets to sculpt her own identity and prove she’s diverse, ambitious, mature and properly brilliant.

Catching A Tiger seldom misses a beat. It’s brimming with great songs; song of them catchy and carefree, others more bluesy and thought-provoking. It’s also addictive as hell… a collection of songs you’ll want to keep returning to.

Highlights range from the classic folk rock of In Sleep, a Stevie Nicks’ inspired slice of American songwriting that boasts a soaring chorus, the ‘60s influenced shimmering pop of Stranger, the rousing country rock pile-driver that is Loosen The Knot and the sombre, piano-soaked Oh Mississippi, which offers a telling insight into her home roots.

But if that handful of tracks stand-out among the album’s finest moments, there’s plenty more to savour en route to those moments.

There’s a beautiful intimacy surrounding the tender Everywhere I Go (a song so broken down that you want to wrap your arms around her) that contrasts effortlessly with more upbeat moments such as Look Away (which speaks of a fortress of pine trees), or the spunkier When I’m Alone.

Catching A Tiger was recorded in Nashville late last year with Jacquire King (Kings of Leon) and features additional songs with Bill Reynolds (Band of Horses) and, contrary to what some reviews are suggesting, it’s a stone cold classic.

Download picks: In Sleep, Stranger, Oh Mississippi, Look Away, Loosen The Knot, Everywhere I Go

Track listing:

  1. Record Collector
  2. When I’m Alone
  3. In Sleep
  4. Bully
  5. Little Lovin’
  6. Stranger
  7. Loosen The Knot
  8. Cuckoo
  9. Everywhere I Go
  10. Worried About
  11. Look Away
  12. Oh Mississippi