Music Review: Stronger

Carlene Carter. <i>Yep Roc</i>.

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More than a quarter-century ago, during her brief marriage to pure-pop king Nick Lowe, Carlene Carter was a new-wave sweetheart belting out a fizzy hybrid of foot-stomping rock and traditional country. That spunky sensibility resurfaces on “The Bitter End” and “I’m So Cool,” but Stronger—her first album since the mid-’90s—is also Carter’s response to a sorrowful period in which she lost four loved ones, including mom June Carter Cash and stepdad Johnny Cash. Anybody who’s not touched by reflective moments like “Bring Love” or the mournful-yet-uplifting title track must be a coldhearted creature indeed.

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