In the pantheon of body parts romanticized in song, the heart is clearly the favorite, while the lung is as overlooked and misunderstood as a gangly feminist at a beauty pageant. But in Lung of Love, Amy Ray's sixth solo album in a decade, the punk-folk icon gives the humble apparatus its due.
'In a way, I came back to the frenetic expression of Stag,' says Ray. 'I didn't try to make the songs hang together musically or lyrically in any thematic way. I just used what I learned about songwriting, performance, when to keep a vocal, when to throw it away, and tried to edit the songs until they were short and sweet.'
Short and sweet, indeed. Each song is a perfectly imperfect confection presented in her tender, scratchy voice. Backed by Greg Griffith (Bass and Guitars), Julie Wolf (Keys), and former Butchies' Melissa York (Drums) and Kaia Wilson (Guitars and Vocals), the songs have an urgent, bright economy.