The last couple of years have seen Lynne Hanson stretching way past her comfort zone. First she teamed up with fellow Ottawa folkie Lynn Miles for the acclaimed duo The LYNNeS, with the album Heartbreak Song For The Radio, and lots of touring on top for that. That meant a couple of new roles for Hanson; being a co-writer, and being the lead guitar player, often electric. That stretching has continued for her latest solo album, one that's different from any of her previous efforts.
Just Words sees Hanson adding more, I mean a lot more, electric guitar to her songs, certainly pushing past her folk sound into the edgier side of roots music. The title track, "Just Words," is punctuated by dark and nasty guitar lines and effects, to match the intense lyric, a song about the devastating effect of verbal abuse. While it's the toughest song in the collection, most of the rest also feature lead electric and smart arrangements. Veteran producer Jim Bryson came on board to amp up the edge, and it works very well. Hanson's lyrics, some soul-searching and others sharply observational, feel just that more piercing. The teamwork is special too. As well as Hanson's guitar, Bryson and guest Kevin Breit star on lead, and there are rich harmony lines all the way through, from Tara Holloway, Catherine MacLellan and Justin Rutledge. Big changes, great results.