With all the hoopla that has surrounded her, it's easy to forget that Lisa Marie Presley is at heart a simple Southern girl whose earliest musical memories are of obsessively listening to 45's in her bedroom at Graceland and of her dad catching her singing into a hairbrush in front of a mirror at the age of three.
The Memphis-born Presley reclaims those roots on her new album Storm & Grace — an Americana-inspired showcase for her songwriting talent and smoldering alto voice. Produced with elegant restraint by 12-time Grammy Award-winner T Bone Burnett, Storm & Grace is a marked departure from Presley's previous albums, 2003's gold-certified To Whom It May Concern and 2005's Now What, which both debuted in the Top 10 on Billboard's Top 200 chart,
"I love the songs, but I think I was hiding behind a lot of sonic layers because it was scary to go out there," Presley says. "It's easier to bury yourself in the noise so you don't stand out. This album is a lot more stripped-down and naked, both musically and lyrically."
Taken as a whole, Storm & Grace is a unflinchingly honest piece of work from this songwriter, who, though known for her tough frankness, has managed to create a tender, consoling thread that runs throughout the album. "Weary" may concern a relationship that didn't work out, but it is suffused with a genuine warmth, as Presley sings: "I will always love you/you can move on, dear."