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Bully - Lucky For You (Album Review)

Monday, 12 June 2023 Written by Laura Johnson

Photo: Sophia Matinazad

At this point in her career, Alicia Bognanno knows exactly what her work is about. The Nashville-based musician, songwriter and producer’s fourth album as Bully is a masterpiece, displaying hard-won understanding of what it takes to craft a record that is vulnerable, vitriolic and absolutely vital.

On ‘Lucky For You’, even the most considered of Bognanno’s fuzzed-out grunge-pop compositions never feel contrived, or anything other than completely in the moment. We are seated on the back porch with her as a rush of distorted chords signal Change Your Mind’s rattling chorus, and lying next to her on the bathroom floor during the ruminative A Wonderful Life. 

Throughout, those perfectly scuzzy guitars are married with grumbling basslines that surge between rhythmic and melodic as Bognanno experiments with synths, harmonica and other noises in the spaces left behind.

The experimentation continued behind the desks, as she broke her DIY tradition in allowing J.T. Daly into the fold to co-produce. A potentially risky move, that ended up only further reaffirming her distinctive Bully sound. 

Lyrically, Bognanno eviscerates whatever topic she’s taken aim at for those next few minutes. Album closer All This Noise and its predecessor Ms. America operate at opposite poles in Bognanno’s sonic approach — the former is a no holds barred rager and the latter is a sombre string-flecked number — but both find that laser-focused insight aimed at her home country, touching on the gun violence crisis in the US and the overturning of Roe v Wade, all the while giving real-time commentary on how it feels to live through these headline-making societal shifts. 

Bognanno is not afraid to look inward, either, and on How Will I Know and Hard To Love she opens up plainly, yet compellingly. “Just wait until you see this out, you'll be gone so quick,” she warns during the second of those tracks, before the chorus’s revelation: “I’m too hard to love, way too hard to love.”

A Love Profound shows how her guitar effects are also used effectively to bolster the tone of a track, in this instance buzzing like the grief that bubbles underneath the day to day. It also offers a smooth transition into the first Bully collaboration, Lose You, for which she tapped Soccer Mommy’s Sophie Allison.

‘Lucky For You’ includes heartbreaking expressions of loss perfectly moulded into fodder-free grunge earworms, which also deliver reflections on Bognanno’s relationship with herself and others that hit like a gut punch. “What else is there to do, When you can't escape the news?” are her final words on the record. Our advice: listen to Bully.

Bully Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu August 10 2023 - CHICAGO Illinois - Thalia Hall Chicago (USA)
Fri August 11 2023 - ST LOUIS Missouri - Off Broadway (USA)
Sat August 12 2023 - LAWRENCE Kansas - Bottleneck (USA)
Sun August 13 2023 - LAWRENCE Kansas - Bottleneck (USA)
Mon August 14 2023 - DENVER Colorado - Marquis Theater Denver (USA)
Tue August 15 2023 - SALT LAKE CITY Utah - Urban Lounge (USA)
Wed August 16 2023 - SALT LAKE CITY - Urban Lounge - UT (USA)
Fri August 18 2023 - SEATTLE Washington - Neptune Theatre (USA)
Sat August 19 2023 - SEATTLE - Neptune Theatre (USA)
Sun August 20 2023 - PORTLAND Oregon - Aladdin Theater Portland (USA)
Mon August 21 2023 - PORTLAND Oregon - Aladdin Theater (USA)
Tue August 22 2023 - SAN FRANCISCO California - THE INDEPENDENT (USA)
Wed August 23 2023 - LOS ANGELES California - Teragram Ballroom (USA)
Thu August 24 2023 - ANAHEIM California - Chain Reaction (USA)
Fri August 25 2023 - SAN DIEGO California - Soda Bar (USA)
Sat August 26 2023 - TUCSON Arizona - Club Congress at Hotel Congress (USA)
Mon August 28 2023 - SANTA FE New Mexico - Meow Wolf (USA)
Tue August 29 2023 - OKLAHOMA CITY Oklahoma - Beer City Music Hall (USA)
Wed August 30 2023 - OKLAHOMA CITY Oklahoma - Beer City Music Hall (USA)
Thu August 31 2023 - NASHVILLE Tennessee - Brooklyn Bowl Nashville (USA)
Fri September 01 2023 - NASHVILLE Tennessee - Brooklyn Bowl - Nashville (USA)
Thu September 14 2023 - DAVENPORT - Triple Crown Whiskey Bar and Raccoon Motel (USA)
Fri September 15 2023 - MINNEAPOLIS Minnesota - First Avenue Minneapolis (USA)
Sat September 16 2023 - MINNEAPOLIS Minnesota - First Avenue (USA)
Sun September 17 2023 - FERNDALE Michigan - Loving Touch (USA)
Tue September 19 2023 - TORONTO Ontario - Lees Palace (Canada)
Wed September 20 2023 - ALBANY - Lark Hall (USA)
Thu September 21 2023 - SOMERVILLE Massachusetts - Crystal Ballroom at Somerville Theatre (USA)
Fri September 22 2023 - HAMDEN Connecticut - Space Ballroom Hamden (USA)
Sat September 23 2023 - BELMONT Massachusetts - First Church in Belmont Unitarian Universalist (USA)
Sun September 24 2023 - WASHINGTON District Of Columbia - Black Cat (USA)

Compare & Buy Bully Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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Related News

Tue 11 Jul 2023
'This is How I Feel, Take it or Leave it': Alicia Bognanno Talks Bully's New Album 'Lucky For You'
Wed 17 May 2023
Bully Releases New Single Change Your Mind
Thu 20 Apr 2023
Bully Shares New Single Hard To Love
Tue 21 Mar 2023
Bully Announces New Album 'Lucky For You', Shares New Single
 
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