Album: Lisa Marie Presley

To Whom It May Concern, Capitol
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The Independent Culture

Since the day Lisa Marie Presley was born she has lived in the reflected spotlight of other people, from her father, who died when she was nine, to that of her ex-husbands Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage. To Whom it May Concern, she has said, is an attempt to assert her own artistic credentials, to wrest some kind significance out of her celebrity. Depending on how you look at it, it's either a brave or deeply foolhardy move. While the album could be better, it could have been one hell of a lot worse. Presley's voice is moody and masculine, though not altogether unappealing - imagine a pissed-off Sheryl Crow or a less grating Cyndi Lauper. In terms of lyrical content, all emotional bases are covered, from self-loathing ("S.O.B", "The Road Between") and indignation ("Better Beware") to tenderness ("So Lovely") and regret ("Nobody Noticed It", "Indifferent"). Occasionally she touches on her past - "Someone turned the lights out there in Memphis/ That's where my family's buried and gone", she sings in "Lights Out" before going on to describe the family graves: "Last time I was there I noticed a space left next to them there in Memphis/ In the damn back lawn..." Elsewhere she tackles the drug addiction that blighted her adolescent years and, more obliquely, her troubled relationships. While these songs hardly rate as poetic, they tackle their subjects with simplicity and directness. It's the music that really lets things down here. With the exception of the single "Lights Out", there are no real tunes, just a succession of hopelessly over-produced country-rock numbers tailored for mainstream radio.