Amy Rigby gets you on her side right from the start on Middlescence, the follow-up to her acclaimed 1996 solo debut Diary Of A Mod Housewife. The irresistible twangy pop of “All I Want”, a plea to an insensitive male oblivious to his woman’s needs, is a singalong that will leave you wanting the head of this bastard man.
But that is Rigby’s specialty: spinning tales of hard luck and heartbreak that capture, through charm and honesty, her life and sometimes yours as well. The songs are deeply personal; we are taken on a tour of Rigby’s middlescence, defined on the back of the CD as the “time of life between arrested development and hard-won maturity.”
On “20th Anniversary”, Rigby sings: ‘Twenty years ago/Midnight on the golf course/You brought your friends/’Cause you thought I was easy/I wanted your love/Like a girl wants her own horse/You were looking at the moon/Man you didn’t even see me.” Rigby is willing to show you her life, to tell you exactly how it is.
The album loses a bit of its power towards the end on “Laboratory Of Love” and “As Is”, a song that’s funny enough lyrically, but musically comes awfully close to sounding like a commercial jingle for TJ Maxx. However, Rigby ends on a positive note with “Invisible” and an untitled hidden track that should give hope to down and out drummers everywhere.