Last summer Lydia Loveless released her fourth album, Real, and it further cemented her status as one of the best alt-country singer/songwriters currently working. This week, she built on that foundation even further by taking one of the best pop songs of 2016 — and let’s face it, possibly ever — and making it completely her own. She opted to release her latest new song, the cutting ballad “Desire” with a cover of Justin Bieber’s smash-hit “Sorry,” and the resulting track is something you absolutely need to hear — even if you didn’t think it would sound good as a half-yodeled yelp of heartache.
See, for those who get lost in the unrelenting dolphin-squeal happiness of the pop original, “Sorry” is actually a devastating song about not being able to make things work, even if you feel they would be incredible if they could. It’s about making the same mistakes over and over again and not knowing how to fix yourself. The spoiler alert is that you can’t fix yourself — people are just flawed and unless they actually want to change, instaed of just apologize over and over, the brokenness remains.
But it’s the underlying loneliness of the track and the weight of this realization that makes it so powerful. Loveless brings this element all the way out into the light and to the surface. Yes, it’s way too late, but she makes it sound like the apology is coming just in time; while the song is on, I believe in second chances. Click on the cover art above to hear both new tracks.