Album: Lisa Marie Presley, Storm & Grace (Island)
Presley gets back on track, with help from her friends
Having a celebrity parent, history suggests, can be a terrible burden to bear – not least since nowadays, the popstar offspring that eschews showbiz in favour of a “proper” job is a rarity. And as celebs go, they don't come much bigger than Elvis, not so much a star as a figure of mythic proportions, his earthly domain preserved in all its kitsch glory like an outsize reliquary of postwar American aspiration.
Until recently, Lisa Marie Presley had shown all the signs of being just another victim of pop's dynastic tendencies, an ersatz talent cast into an unforgiving spotlight. There were those two earlier albums, oddly devoid of ambition and charisma, and there was that whole business with Michael Jackson, which seemed to point towards some imminent emotional car-crash.
But it's been seven years since her last album, and now rooted within a firmly supportive long-term relationship, and relocated to the relative normality of England, Lisa Marie appears to be coping better than most with the unbidden yoke of celebrity. She's certainly creating music of far greater potency than most second-generation trustafarian popsters, thanks in part to the keen instincts of producer T-Bone Burnett and in even greater part to English songwriters such as Ed Harcourt and Richard Hawley, whose astute grasp of classic pop and country modes ensures that Storm & Grace is replete with songs capable of becoming standards.
The Presley/Harcourt opener “Over Me”is taken at a languid rockabilly canter, familiar from Burnett's work on Raising Sand, and driven by the same peerless rhythm section of drummer Jay Bellerose and bassist Dennis Crouch, who elsewhere bring a breathtaking subtlety of touch and emphasis to Presley/Hawley ballads like the slow country waltz “Storm & Grace” and “Weary”.
Throughout, Burnett's production frames Presley's nonchalant, smoky delivery in classic neo-roots livery, through his typical accumulation of small but telling guitar figures allied to flexible and infectious grooves. The result is an album that in one swoop restores contemporary significance to the Presley brand.
Download: Over Me; You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet; Un-Break; Weary
TV reviewBroadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair
Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere
TVThe Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
Poldark, series 1 finale, review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 3, review: Sansa and manhood-lopping torturer Ramsay Bolton - really?
The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove