Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
Buy On
  1. Aug 19, 2016
    91
    By not shying away from writing about messy relationships, hard truths, and personal failings, she’s created an album with incredible emotional and lyrical resonance.
  2. 85
    Real’s stew of unabashed honesty, townie bar arena rock muscle, and uncomplicated discussion of life’s and love’s complications feels just like home. It doesn’t get any realer than that.
  3. Aug 19, 2016
    80
    Somewhere Else should make a point of giving Real a listen--at her best, she's quite simply as good and as brave a singer and songwriter as anyone working today, and Real finds her at the top of her game.
  4. Aug 18, 2016
    80
    Loveless continues to manifest a remarkable combination of bruised vulnerability and desperate longing, alongside a tough, self-deprecating resilience, but there’s more of the former and less of the latter this time.
  5. Aug 18, 2016
    80
    The aptly titled Real gives listeners a satisfying and enlightening further glimpse into her world, one that will surely be expanding with thoughts waiting to be put to song for years to come.
  6. Aug 17, 2016
    80
    Bringing bouts of surf twang, no-wave tangles, and chopped-up power chords, the record blurs boundaries of genre, its eighth notes alternately swung and then made straight again. The band (Todd May, Ben Lamb, Jay Gasper, George Hondroulis, Andy Harrison) shines across the changes in support of Loveless’s powerful voice.
  7. Aug 17, 2016
    80
    Real, Loveless's confident and poppy fourth album, builds on what Loveless and her band were doing on 2014's grittier Somewhere Else.
  8. Magnet
    Aug 11, 2016
    80
    Her witty wordplay and ironic humor offers a bit of relief from heartache and confusion that colors the record, but it's those shattered emotions that are the most impressive. [No. 134, p.57]
  9. Uncut
    Aug 10, 2016
    80
    Loveless' songwriting on Real is sharp, economical and wickedly funny. [Sep 2016, p.77]
  10. Aug 10, 2016
    80
    The acoustic Clumps strips down for a particularly moving two minutes, but for the most part, Loveless commits to the stunning sonic evolution. Embrace it.
  11. Aug 10, 2016
    80
    Loveless manages to strike a similarly compelling balance of grit and pop throughout the rest of Real.
  12. Sep 23, 2016
    75
    It sounds like Loveless has found herself, somewhere between traditional country and '70s pop rock, delivered with salacious grit and emotional gravity to spare.
  13. Aug 10, 2016
    75
    The music is more refined than previous Loveless albums. With the exception of the sonic roar in "Same to You," the pleasures on Real turn on instrumental subtleties.
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 14
  2. Negative: 3 out of 14
  1. Aug 22, 2016
    1
    crap, she just saying a corny words with slow music, i'm 100% sure that I will not remember the name of songs from this album tomorrow, listencrap, she just saying a corny words with slow music, i'm 100% sure that I will not remember the name of songs from this album tomorrow, listen this only when you are on molly or something. Full Review »
  2. Aug 19, 2016
    9
    If any artist can get away with calling an album Real, it’s Lydia Loveless — from her earliest work, her songs have always been smart butIf any artist can get away with calling an album Real, it’s Lydia Loveless — from her earliest work, her songs have always been smart but utterly fearless in their honesty about what’s happening in her head, heart, and soul. 2016’s Real is Loveless’ fourth album, and it’s her most mature and polished bit of studio craft to date. While most of Loveless’ music has walked a line between honky tonk country and raucous rock & roll, Real finds taking a few steps back from her twangy roots and embracing a more pop-oriented sound that still puts the emphasis on guitars but boasts a cool sheen that’s decidedly different than her sound on Boy Crazy or Somewhere Else.

    Loveless is a master lyricist, articulate and expressive without seeming forced or hitting a false note, and her vocals on Real are superb, less the work of a belter but still as passionate and eloquent as you could hope for. Anyone who wasn’t convinced that Lydia Loveless is a major artist by Somewhere Else should make a point of giving Real a listen — at her best, she’s quite simply as good and as brave a singer and songwriter as anyone working today, and Real finds her at the top of her game
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 19, 2016
    5
    These songs are technically good. Proficient song writing. Nice vocals. A teenagers dream. It's just not very original. It's kind of genericThese songs are technically good. Proficient song writing. Nice vocals. A teenagers dream. It's just not very original. It's kind of generic lyrically. And the production is high-gloss shine, allowing for no organic sounds, noises, throatiness, etc. I just can't seem to learn that critics praise everything that they've heard before if it's set up well. When you're an adult, it's hard to communicate with someone that their art lacks an essence drawn out by taking risks. Full Review »