Outlaw Is Just A State of Mind
Columbia Records KC 35776 | Released March 1979 | Peak Chart Position: 29
THE LINER NOTES
Where Steve Gibson did his best to replicate Glenn Sutton’s signature Countrypolitan production sound on Lynn’s 1978 LP, ‘From The Inside’, producer David Wolfert had distinctly…radically different ideas when he was asked to take the reins on this eighteenth album from her Columbia Records collection.
Taking Lynn out of her Nashville comfort zone, and moving the entire production to Los Angeles, Wolfert assembled a cast of supporting players credited with crafting some of popular music’s most memorable tracks and moments, creating, in the process, a minimalist canvas that very nearly perfectly balances some of the best cover performances of this celebrated singer’s career. In the album’s deepest cut, Don Gibson’s, “Sea of Heartbreak”, Lynn brings an innate romanticism and depth of a woman’s perspective to the lyric, her voice unfettered by electronics, pure and cadent, rising and falling in waves of harmony with Fred Tackett’s acoustic guitar and Wolfert’s measured, lean production. The same bare-boned feel runs like an electric current under her treatment of Van Morrison’s "Come Running", flipping the narrative, and punching the lyric out like a driving wheel on a runaway train. Together, the two tracks close the set, bringing a sense of dramatic finality to this LP; the ideal bookends for the album’s two opening cuts.
Unlike anything she’s ever recorded before, "Isn't It Always Love” surrounds Lynn with an eclectic, unconventional arrangement that’s just this side of Ska. Upbeat and infectious, Wolfert’s decision to add Jamaican steel drums to this Karla Bonoff cut was nothing short of genius; the track the perfect complement for a vocal performance that’s off the charts…and placing this track squarely on the charts as Lynn’s first Top Ten single in five years; a milestone very nearly repeated by the album’s second track, the Barry Mann classic, "I Love How You Love Me". Underscored with Jai Winding’s tasteful and spare keyboards, Lynn’s hushed and velvety vocal summons up classic Dusty Springfield and Julie London, in a track that sounds like it was cut by candlelight; a softly-lit 3:14 second love letter from Country Music’s original Romantic Outlaw….
But that’s just a state of mind.
J Buck Ford
"Isn't It Always Love" / "I Love How You Love Me" / "Child With You Tonight" / "This Night Won't Last Forever" / "I Am Alone" / "Say You Will" / "Come Running" / "Outlaw Is Just a State of Mind" / ""Come as You Are" / "Sea of Heartbreak"