Ambition sharpens Lydia Loveless's songwriting. When she boasts, "I am on the verge of brilliance," on "Don't Bother Mountain," she follows it with, "or on the verge of death." On her fifth and best full-length album, Daughter, the Ohio singer-songwriter masters a music that follows the contours of her electric guitar playing: rangy and gnarled. It's tempting to think of Jason Isbell and Patty Loveless (no relation) as confreres, but the scrappy rock'n'roll of her earlier albums and the absence of self-pity moves her closer to Scarecrow-era John Mellencamp or mid-period Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
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