Album Review of Young in All the Wrong Ways by Sara Watkins.
Release Date: Jul 1, 2016
Record label: New West
Don't read too much into the title of Young in All the Wrong Ways, Sara Watkins' third solo album. Certainly, the Nickel Creek singer/violinist isn't necessarily acting deliberately youthful here -- the record isn't as brightly pop as its 2012 predecessor, Sun Midnight Sun -- but that doesn't mean that bluegrass factors heavily into the equation either. Young in All the Wrong Ways does make feints to roots music -- if it weren't for the stylishly sculpted fuzz guitar, "The Truth Won't Set Us Free" could be suited for a honky tonk hardwood floor, while "One Last Time" contains some fleet-fingered picking -- but the record feels settled and assured as it leans into its maturation.
At this point in the history of pop music, the breakup album could well be a genre unto itself. So prolific are songs and albums dealing with the dissolution of relationships of all types that it has virtually become something of a rite of passage for any singer-songwriter worth their salt. Taylor Swift, the current reigning queen of such things, almost seems to embark on a relationship solely in the hopes of it failing and thus providing just that much more material for her to take to the top of the charts.