Home Album review Album review: Lynne Hanson – Just a Poet

Album review: Lynne Hanson – Just a Poet

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Ottawa-based singer-songwriter Lynne Hanson has released her 10th studio album called Just a Poet.

Lynne has again teamed up with producer Jim Bryson, who produced her 2020 release Just Words.

Just a Poet combines beautifully-crafted, highly personal lyrics with her trademark vocals. The songs are a return to the “porch
music with a little red dirt” that garnered Lynne the nickname “Canada’s own Queen of Americana.”

Singing about heartache has been a staple of so much of Lynne’s music over the years – whether heartache caused or heartache suffered, and this album is a strong nod in that direction.

In “Outlaw Lover,” she writes of being “a cold hard leaver.” In “Princess and the Pea” she says, “I used to be in love with you till heartbreak made me wise.” In “Just a Little Bit,” it’s about her being better off alone because “you got me running ‘round in circles.” In “Sort Of” she wonders if she was really ever truly loved. In “Spray Paint” we get a picture of a relationship that is not going to make it. And the title of “Can’t Let Go” speaks for itself.

As well, in her songwriting, there are some very poignant and powerfully expressed admissions of struggle with what each and every day might bring and a not-so-thinly-veiled insecurity that comes with being an artist.

In the title track “Just a Poet,” she writes about “spending my youth chasing the perfect song.” In “About Yesterday” she wonders if she is worthy. In “Weeds” she writes “What you get is what you see, only way I know how to be, when you put your money down the only kind of sound you gonna get is me.”

Lynne says that “I love a happy uplifting song, but I also believe that it’s those painful experiences that tend to produce great art.”

And that would appear to be the key to this album. She opens herself up wide to give us a view of experiences that are frequently universal but the particulars of which are specific to her. A few listens in, and you realize you are being treated to a pretty deep dive, a unique perspective, into how another person sees the world. That’s quite a gift.

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