Grownup Music

In which Wide Right's working-class broad from the provinces expresses her arty side

"People who read like Wide Right," is Archibald's joke of a slogan. But though they're admittedly none too funky or all that funny either, no band has ever meant or sounded like this. BIYL Amy Rigby—or just Loretta Lynn, whose "The Pill" gets a loud cover on the new album. On top of a class analysis that's less startling when you learn it proceeds from her lifework as well as her personal history, Archibald has a domestic analysis—no Nashville pro has approached the title tune, where she apologizes for last night's fight: "I say these things to improve you, honey/I don't mean to put you out." Read the lyrics and admire their intelligence and thematic originality. Hear them, though, and they take on the sensible candor and irrefutable force of a good talking-to from, I don't know, Molly Ivins or Studs Terkel—socked home by, I don't know, Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Leah Archibald has a mortgage to pay. She can't always bring the music to your door. But send her your money anyway. She gives good value.


Wide Right play Magnetic Field May 27.

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