Lynne Taylor Donovan has never sounded better. Nothing on her latest track “I Don’t Wanna Mention Any Names”, sounds like anything on top 40 country or pop radio – and that’s a beautiful thing. Donovan is the kind of artist who grows and expands her creative wings with each release, and this is no exception. I don’t know which to rave about more: her voice, her words, or the music. It all comes together in pure country, blues and jazz artistry.
I knew I would love this track before even hearing it, as my experiences with Donovan’s music has its own little history, but I didn’t necessarily expect to be so impressed. This review cannot possibly do “I Don’t Wanna Mention Any Names” justice. You really need to hear it for yourself.
The pain of a broken heart has long existed at the root of country music. For decades it seemed to be the central theme of nearly any great country song, making the genre a hillbilly cousin of the blues.
And while love and loss has found its way into all manner of popular music over the last half century or so, it’s presence within country music has somewhat lessened in favor of a particular lifestyle aesthetic. Packaged and presented to consumers as the commodity it now is, modern country music has lost much of the soul it once possessed.
That having been said, there are still plenty of artists operating under the country banner carrying the traditionalist torch, and incorporating modernist touches in the instrumentation and production. Lynne Taylor Donovan is one of these.
Eschewing pop tropes she has created a relatable, emotionally resonant song at once specific and universally thematically relevant. Being able to see something yourself within a given song helps ensure its longevity and transcendence of passing fads. How many of us have been through high school reunions with tons of nostalgic memories dealing with love’s gained and lost weighing down proceedings?
“I Don’t Wanna Mention Any Names” tackles the high school reunion syndrome rather brilliantly, whereby Donovan brings all the brokenhearted clichés to the table. Full of heartbreak and hope in seemingly equal measure, the track shows Lynne Taylor Donovan coming full circle, having worked her way through the emotional tumult – real or imagined – and coming out the other side with a quality song. “I Don’t Wanna Mention Any Names” is a beautifully crafted song where not a melody-line or word is wasted.