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Album Review: Nikki Lane – All or Nothin’

3 min read

In her latest record, Nikki Lane throws away the stereotype of the vulnerable singer-songwriter and brings sass and rebelliousness in its place. If you’re looking for heartfelt songs of love and affection, then you’ve come to the wrong place. Lane has no time for such things in her latest release, All or Nothin’, where one-night stands, mischief and misery seem to take centre stage. The singer has said that the music reflects her personal life at the time of recording and it’s that honesty in her music that makes for a unique record.

Nikki Lane All Or NothinThe album’s standout track and star of the show is its lead single, Right Time. It exudes attitudes present across the whole album. “Any day or night time, it’s always the right time,” sings Nikki Lane on the song’s chorus, along to an extremely catchy melody before ending it on “It’s always the right time to do the wrong thing”. The rebellious nature of the song  illustrate a good girl gone bad, a misbehaving individual who is up for anything and yet, the ridiculously catchy nature of the song’s hook ensures it to be a pleasing singalong to anyone.

Perhaps a great contender for the next single is the third song on the album, I Don’t Care. The song is a catchy and careless track that sounds like it could easily be on a Lily Allen record. “I don’t care ‘bout anything ‘bout you” sings Lane, as the song progresses through a rhythmic beat. It shows that country music doesn’t always have to stick to corny love ballads and similar topics and that it can transcend into more edgy, brooding territory.

Tracks like You Can’t Talk To Me Like That (which is beautifully backed up by a chorus of female singers) continue this brooding theme in the form of a slow, steady ballad that echoes the singer’s sentiments into wanting to be alone and avoiding commitment. As a contrast, the duet with Black Keys vocalist and this album’s producer, Dan Auerbach is a more fast-paced track that shows the challenges of two touring musicians being in a relationship. Lane has said that the album was meant to show her listeners the various sides of herself, and, given the content of these songs, it certainly does that. Beautiful country-led guitars and backing strings further aid to fuel the emotions behind these tracks, giving it that typical and pleasing country vibe that fans of the genre will find homely and familiar.

However, despite the quality of the songs and the album’s production, it could be a drag to listen to for some listeners. Lane employs the same brooding tones throughout, which can get tedious at times. This is certainly an album that will take a few listens to truly appreciate, a reason being that Lane’s vocal can be a little indistinct on some tracks and the words can be hard to make out initially.

Altogether, however, country fans may find some pleasure with the Nashville star’s latest, her hooks and low, crooning voice offering a darker and more complex take on the genre. Yes, Nikki Lane, it is always the right time to do the wrong thing. However, you can do the right thing by giving this album a listen. It is likely you won’t regret it.