She’s the last artist you would think to do a cover of an L.L. Cool J rap song, but Texas singer-songwriter Terri Hendrix makes it pretty and catchy, hiding the beat behind the guitar and turning it into a romantic ballad with a couple of verses recited really fast. She sounds as if she’s having fun with it, and you get a similar feeling on the eleven other country-folk-pop cuts on this, her first disc since 2002′s The Ring.
The Art Of Removing Wallpaper is a bit of a concept album, with each of the songs reflecting or championing the peeling away of coverings that hide true intentions or emotions. In “Breakdown”, the album’s midtempo opener, she sets the tone with couplets such as, “Look at me putting makeup on my face/What am I trying to add or erase.” In “Monopoly”, she takes a swing at commercial globalization, including a swipe at corporate radio: “There ain’t no clear channel/Clear channel it’s clear to see/One choice takes the voice/From individuality.”
Politically and emotionally charged as the lyrics may be, Hendrix is in fine melodic form, keeping the surface bright and polished (with the help of producer Lloyd Maines) while getting her message through with her clear singing and impeccable timing.