Lee Ann Womack - 'The Way I'm Livin''

September 23rd's release of The Way I'm Livin' marks country songstress Lee Ann Womack's first new music in six years. The album's title track was released as the lead single on June 23rd. With a distinct bluesy feel from the heavy drum beat and solidity behind the acoustic guitar line, the overall production gives the track a sense of strength that works well with Lee Ann's vocals.

There are some real gems on this album, one of them being Same Kind Of Different. The a cappella opening is really affective in grabbing the listener's attention. The track also includes backing vocals from her daughters Aubrie Sellers and Anna Lise Liddell (as do many tracks on the album), with both showing off their strong voices and harmonising skills. Lines such as "I am an anthem, you were poetry, you are the same kind of different as me" build up a clear picture in the listener's mind and Lee Ann's vocal controls the track well, feeling very comfortable.

Album opener Prelude: Fly is undoubtedly a stand out track. With the only accompaniment coming from an acoustic guitar the focus is fully on Lee Ann's vocals and she delivers a heartfelt performance. I imagine this must be incredible to hear live!

Not Forgotten You feels very smooth and Lee Ann delivers a competent vocal that seems to welcome the listener in. The production doesn't overpower the vocals and the listener is left with no question as to Lee Ann's vocal skill. My only negative is that it feels as though "I have not forgotten you" is repeated a lot which feels a little boring.

All His Saints is perhaps the most gospel influenced track on the album and unfortunately it feels a little messy. Lee Ann's vocals feel a little forced at points and, as with Not Forgotten You, there are a lot of repeated lyrics which may find listeners skipping the track. The fast drum beat and vocal speed feel a little like they are forcing the pace of the track along, it would be interesting to hear it with a more stripped back production.

Track listing....
1) Prelude: Fly - Brent Cobb, Reed Foehl
2) All His Saints - Mindy Smith
3) Chances Are - Hayes Carll
4) The Way I'm Livin' - Adam Wright
5) Send It on Down - Chris Knight, David Leone
6) Don't Listen to the Wind - Julie Miller
7) Same Kind of Different - Natalie Hemby, Adam Hood
8) Out on the Weekend - Neil Young
9) Nightwind - Bruce Robison
10) Sleeping with the Devil - Brennen Leigh
11) Not Forgotten You - Bruce Robison
12) Tomorrow Night in Baltimore - Kenny Price
13) When I Come Around - Mando Saenz

Lee Ann Womack makes a welcome return with this album. This is certainly a good album to have in your music collection and I would especially recommend it if you have not listened to Lee Ann before. The whole album is unashamedly country and I am certainly interested to see the response it's more traditional sound receives.