Themes of love and loss permeate Young in All the Wrong Ways

Young in All the Wrong Ways
Artist: Sara Watkins
New West Records

Themes of love and loss permeate Young in All the Wrong Ways, Sara Watkins’ third solo disc. She herself has described it as a “breakup album with myself”, and the songs certainly portray this in their lyrics.

The title track is a bit angry, almost Adele-like in tone, and is most definitely a breakup song. “One Last Time” is another: “You won’t miss me, you’ll just miss my kisses.” The single, “Move Me”, featuring Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers), Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O’Donovan, and Jon Brion, deals with frustration in relationships as well.

Musically, Watkins covers a lot of ground, ranging from her Nickel Creek days to the beautiful and plaintive “New Year’s Day”, to the world of Loretta Lynn in “The Truth Won’t Set Us Free”. “Say So” may anticipate the next relationship, or just a need for maturity in a current one: “When you’re ready to
begin, just say so.”

Much like her brother Sean, Sara Watkins just continues to get better on her solo releases. Young in All the Wrong Ways is both her most diverse album, as well as her most accessible. And if her guests and recent tourmates are any indication, she’s going to be in high demand for quite some time.

Brian A. Smith