The lead singles "Shoe" and "Movin' On" are very representative of the album as a whole. The former track melds elements of bluegrass, country and folk into one boot-stomping anthem. It's the loudest the bluegrass elements get on the record, and it's a standout track because of that. "Movin' On" is one of the more folk rock influenced of the record, and doesn't have many country elements, but is good music, and seems like it could do well on Adult Contemporary radio, or with those listeners.
Highlights include the slower paced songs like the first song on the record, "Waitin' For You" and "Never Try To Love You." They both are simply produced and have a simplistic beauty that is breathtaking. The harmonies in "Waitin' For You" have a rootsy feel, and this song is a perfect introduction to the sound of this record, therefore making it the perfect first song. Emotion is obvious, especially in the latter song. Love is often discussed in songs, but "Never Try To Love You" takes a bit of a different perspective. Instead of pleading for love, she is trying to convince herself not to love a man who she knows will be bad for her. "Hollow Heart" is another standout. Lane is her best when she goes softer, and more emotive and stripped down with her music.
The title, This Life of Mine, is so fitting because this is a record about real life. It chronicles the ups and the downs, the whole spectrum of emotions that happen in life. There's not an overly positive view of the world that depicts life as Friday nights out. That's what makes true country music so special: it's about life. Pop music isn't always about life, but country music should be.
Lane is no stranger to the music industry: she made her first record in the late 90s, before the tides had really changed for women in country music and women still had a strong presence on country radio. The fact that she has stayed to organic sounding and so true to her roots over all this time is inspiring. The allure of pop and experimenting with many other sounds is always there, and I admire when artists deliberately choose to make their music not sound like the radio and instead sound like them. That's exactly what Lane did with This Life of Mine.
Best tracks: Waitin on You, Shoe, Hollow Heart, Never Try To Love You
Throwaway tracks: none
Overall rating: 4 crowns