BOTTOM LINE A brilliant breakthrough from a British singer-songwriter with help from Nashville.
Don’t get bogged down in trying to categorize Lucie Silvas.
The British singer-songwriter had a platinum pop debut in her homeland, became known for covering Metallica, then moved to America and wrote songs for TV shows like “Smash” and “Nashville.” Settling in Nashville and marrying John Osborne of the Brothers Osborne, Silvas did record a country album. She toured with Chris Stapleton and sang with Miranda Lambert.
But her new album “E.G.O.” (Furthest Point/Thirty Tigers) isn’t really country. It’s a thrill ride across the musical map that is all handled amazingly well.
It opens with the first single “Kite,” a female empowerment anthem that sounds like it could have come from Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” era, where Silvas warns, “Boy you better hold those strings, ‘cause she gonna fly away.” Then she shifts into the gorgeous lament “Girls From California,” where she sounds like Dusty Springfield covering the Beach Boys. That is followed by the playful “Smoking Your Weed,” which brings a soulful horn-driven twist to what could be a Miranda Lambert smash and an important bit of friendly advice. “You think she’s the girl of your dreams, but she’s just smoking your weed,” she offers before rolling up some marijuana-related puns.
It’s one of the strongest opening salvos on an album this year and Silvas doesn’t let up.
In “Black Jeans,” she sounds like Lana del Rey joining Fleetwood Mac. In the gorgeous ballad “Everything Looks Beautiful,” she moves from doo-wop to dramatic soul and back again.
Silvas does keep a bit of modern country in the wrenching “My Old Habits,” though she adds some rock to the mix.
Sure, there are times on “E.G.O.” where Silvas’ influences are obvious, but she handles them so charmingly that it doesn’t matter. Just like it doesn’t matter what you call this kind of music — other than great.