Album Review by: elfslut
Leyla Fences puts the “C” in country music. From the first bars of “Let Him Go” on her debut album, Liars, Cheats & Fools, it is obvious that this isn’t country pop that is played on every radio station. No, Leyla’s country is more traditional and it comes with a Texas twang and lyrics that really tell it like it is. This lady doesn’t mince words either, whether it is about staying single, some cheating guy or getting drunk. The best part is, Leyla makes these songs real, but maybe that’s because her songs focus on reality—and not always the shiny, happy, white picket fence reality.
Songs like “Love Doesn’t Work Like That” show feminine strength. There’s no way that Leyla’s going back to that cheatin’ guy. As she belts out the chorus, “You cheated and I cried. Trusted you, you lied. As good as I was to you. You found better things to do,” you can picture a crowd of women adding their voice.
Songs like “Hardly Livin’” shouldn’t be so darn peppy when you give the lyrics a careful listen and realize that it is about a woman working hard but not getting anywhere. But that’s what makes it great. Leyla sings about hard knocks and she makes it sound fun.
On “Two’s A Crowd,” the litany of breakups, and the reasons for them, will bring a smile to your face and it might make you think about Terri Clark’s “Girls Lie Too.” She shares a similar wit with Clark when it comes to her songwriting. Her songwriting is very empowering. She also makes the crappy things that happen in everyone’s lives seem not so bad. The best cheatin’ song has to be “Upside Blues.” Leyla sings about trying to stay strong while watching her guy with another girl, until something better comes along.
Another song that may hit close to home is “The Other Side.”—a song about the age-old cliché that says the grass is greener elsewhere. Sure, that saying may be cliché, but we all think that things would be better if we were something else or somewhere else. In this song Leyla illustrates her point of view beautifully with the line “I count your blessings because I can’t see mine.”
There’s one thing that you won’t find in abundance on this album, and that’s love songs. She does come close with the wistful “Maybe,” a song that has a lot of hope for a potential relationship. Leyla doesn’t do hearts and flowers. What she does do is heartbreak, like “Dancing With You,” a bittersweet song about a relationship that has come to an end, even though one part of the couple isn’t ready for it to be over.
Leyla is proof that honky-tonk is still alive and well and fun to listen to when done well. And Leyla does honky-tonk more than just well, she does it great! Liars, Cheats & Fools makes you want to grab a cold beer and dance a two step and then tell off an ex, but maybe not in that order.
At a time when country music doesn’t sound like country music, Leyla Fences is a breath of fresh air. Liars, Cheats & Fools is a country album that proves that some of the nastiest things we have to deal with in life can make the best songs.
Sounds Like: Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Terri Clark
Buy: CD Baby