Storm & Grace
XIX Records, 2012
REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/03/2012
It’s pretty obvious that there are a lot of misconceptions about Lisa Marie Presley. The sole daughter of Elvis Presley, she’s been accused more than a handful of times of riding the coattails of her father’s fame. Even when her first two albums broke the top ten on the Billboard charts and went platinum, fingers were still pointed toward Presley as having questionable talent at best.
Truth is, Presley’s songwriting abilities stand on their own merits. An accomplished lyricist who co-writes all her music, the “Princess Of Rock ‘N’ Roll” has even collaborated with Billy Corgan and covered The Ramones – a far cry from her pop-rock pigeonholing. Presley returns for the first time in seven years with Storm & Chase. On this disc, the songstress has aligned herself with Grammy winning producer T-Bone Burnett, thus reinventing her career.
In an attempt to get back to her roots, Presley offers a soulful, organic and often rustic quality on these often hushed tracks. It’s a comforting blend of country, folk and blues, all executed with sophistication and dark, spirited beauty. Disc opener “Over Me” moves by with a country rock feel; it’s a song that wouldn’t be out of place on a mix with any current Americana band, and it really sets the pace for the remaining tracks, both lyrically and musically.
Forever known for her fiery tongue, Presley releases a lot of seemingly pent-up frustration about her past. “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” is essentially a musical middle finger to the system, and “So Long” is Presley’s way of telling false friends and churches to take a hike. In “Un-Break” she searches for reasons she’s been tortured by the media, asking what it is that she hasn’t done right.
Storm & Grace is undoubtedly a career highlight. With songwriting legend Ed Harcourt, Pulp guitarist Richard Hawley, and of course T-Bone turning the knobs, Presley’s third album is a leaps and bounds more interesting than her previous Top 40 offerings. Approach with an open mind and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.