ettg Since receiving this album earlier in the week, it’s quickly become my go-to pick-me-up album. The title says all that I needed this week and good music surely serves to help steel the soul for me. Make that music as subtly powerful as Shotgun Tori’s and there’s no way I can’t feel emboldened and ready to conquer anything in my way. She blends folk, rockabilly, and alternative for a sound that can go from gritty to dreamy in just a few minutes. While some critics have stated that the concept of strong female artist with a guitar is one that has been done “ad nausea”, Shotgun Tori brings new life and new sound to the scene, and no one’s critiquing the fact that far more men have used the artist with a guitar model, and they’re still recognized as not replicating other material.

Be Brave opens to quiet, somber sounds in Brightside, wherein Shotgun Tori calls herself “just a woman” and then spends the rest of the album demonstrating exactly how much of an understatement that “just” is. Dear John has a much brighter sound, with its jazzy horn and retro keyboard bars. The beginning of the title track channels the gentle rebellion in every survivor or overcomer of obstacles- “I’m not gonna behave”- while the breathy abstract vocalizations give an almost primal feeling to points in this poetry. Nights Like That brings Shotgun Tori’s country styling to the forefront, with a gritty voice that manages to do loop-de-loops somehow. Coming down from the barroom Joplin sound, Wooden Decks has a loping feel with a modern touch. She’s in no hurry, and is intent on moving at her own pace, so no sense trying to change her.

Read the rest of the review here: