Lisa Leblanc’s Why You Gotta Leave, Runaway Queen? is a cheeky breakup album

Witty one-liners, bluegrass influences and more are on offer

If you’re looking for a non-maudlin post-breakup soundtrack, look no further than Montreal-via-New Brunswick singer/songwriter Lisa LeBlanc’s third album. 

The very first track, bluesy rambler Could You Wait ‘Til I’ve Had My Coffee?, sets the wry, sardonic tone right off the bat. Lyrically, the cheeky breakup anthem is like everything you wish you’d said to that ex who unceremoniously dumped you, set to LeBlanc’s raw guitar licks and unvarnished vocals. It’s that refreshingly straightforward singing style – no pop-soprano trills here – that helps sell her tales of everyday life, love and heartache. 

For Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen?, LeBlanc draws inspiration from a long road trip through the U.S., where she learned more about Appalachian, Cajun and bluegrass traditions. Their influence can be heard throughout the record, like the fingerpicked banjo and lap steel melodies on the amusing Dump The Guy ASAP (notice a theme here?) and the rollicking bluegrass cover of of Motörhead’s Ace Of Spades. 

LeBlanc’s knack for a memorable one-liner (“I’ve been here two days / And it feels like forever,” she sings on City Slickers And Country Boys) and mixing straight-up twang with good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll (like on I Love You, I Don’t Love You, I Don’t Know, a duet with Sam Roberts that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Sam Roberts Band album) serve her sound and storytelling well. 

But the overall effect can get a bit repetitive over a full album. The two songs in French add variety but aren’t among the standout tracks.

Top track: I Love You, I Don’t Love You, I Don’t Know

Lisa LeBlanc plays the Rivoli October 14. See listing.

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