Loveless proves she has spunk


Friday, September 1st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


It would be so easy to say Patty Loveless has re-invented herself, that she has traded in her haunting Appalachian country repertoire for slices of contemporary, pop-laced fare.


Case in point: the sassy, lighthearted "You're So Cool," the lead track of Strong Heart, her first studio album in three years.


But subtlety has always been Ms. Loveless' forte. "Cool" is filled with rootsy nuances – harmonica flourishes, steel guitar licks – that blend seamlessly with the airy "yeah, yeah" chorus and the catchy, drum-fortified rhythm.


Indeed, Strong Heart is a more exuberant record from the Kentucky-born songstress. She is rejuvenated – musically and spiritually – after time spent at home with husband/producer Emory Gordy Jr. There's a youthful spark, a bold attitude on cuts such as the greasy blues-rocker "You Don't Get No More" and the frolicking first single, "That's the Kind of Mood I'm In."


And yet, Ms. Loveless is also a brilliant balancer. She understands the highs and lows of everyday life. She doesn't shy away from hard-hitting subjects. She's brave enough to reveal her vulnerability, but never for maudlin effect.