Album: Carlene Carter, Stronger (Yep Roc)

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The Independent Culture

Carter lost four family members in 2003: mother June, sister Rosie, partner Howie Epstein and stepdad Johnny Cash. Not a good year, and it bottomed out a not hugely productive passage of life in general – her last new work came out in 1995. Life seems to have improved since and ‘Stronger’, though sunk firmly in the grief-and renewal groove you’d expect, makes for a broadly enjoyable return. Carlene’s stock vibe s rockin’ country with added perk. But there’s a lurking solemnity behind the bouncy frontage, most obviously in the title track, which is a direct address to Rosie. Good to hear her again, though.

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