Album Review: Lindi Ortega - "Liberty"

Canadian singer/songwriter delivers on a record with a confidence only hinted at previously.

Lindi Ortega’s Liberty is a cinematic listening experience. A journey, if you will. Sonically inspired by Ennio Morricone Spaghetti Western movie soundtracks in places, much of this album finds Ortega playing a little girl dressing up – only with sonic costumes.

The song “Liberty,” for example, plays out like one couple’s dusty desert travelogue escape. “Through the Dust,” which is a three-part instrumental interspersed throughout the album, paints its scenes sans vocals. Ortega also loves to play the Gothic country diva and include heavy spiritual content in her songs. Night’s dangers play into both “Afraid of the Dark” and “Darkness Be Gone,” with the devil himself making an appearance in the latter.

The album also features Ortega dressed in relatively unfamiliar outfits. For instance, “Lovers in Love” matches a jangly guitar backing with Charlie McCoy’s distinctive harmonica coloring for a sweetly positive love song. “Gracias A La Vida” is Ortega’s Spanish language cover of Chilean singer Violeta Parra’s song. Both find Ortega stretching her musical muscles successfully.

Liberty is the right name for this collection of music because Ortega sounds liberated from any stylistic constraints. She’s not making music for anybody else’s expectations but is, instead, creating sounds that are fun and compelling. If Liberty was a movie, it’d be one with a happy ending.