Without a doubt, The Lie Within Callie's debut EP proves that frontwoman and primary songwriter Callie Wilson is no stranger to dulcet tones, rich songwriting, and (if the lyrics are any indication) young adult love in all its beauty and ugliness. "It's the book of hypocrisy," Callie sings in the chorus of the eponymous opening track, and she's "had ever page read to [her]."

A theme prevalent throughout the album is the inherently self-destructive nature of relationships, of putting your trust in the hands of someone who could at any moment shatter it to pieces. With your "heart wide open," you must "throw yourself into" the fire that is loving another person.

Of course, sometimes that fire burns you. Tracks like "Kisses on Her Hips" will definitely resonate with people who have been cheated on or otherwise wronged in a relationship, and tracks like "Bad Habit" and "Skin & Bones" exhibit the pain in the ambiguity of relationships; if you've "got a bad habit of only loving [someone] when [they] leave," then were you really in love to begin with? At what point does "physical attraction" turn into "emotional attachment?"

The beauty of the album isn't just in the lyrics, however; the list of recording/production personnel certainly matches the effort Callie brought to the songwriting. With Will Mason of Birmingham's own Mason Music at the mixer, as well as multiple guest musicians taking over instrumental duties (including Chad Fisher and Allen Branstetter of St. Paul and the Broken Bones), The Book of Hypocrisy is not only a strong songwriting debut for a nascent singer-songwriter, but also a solid studio effort that you would assume was straight off the Billboard Top 40 if I hadn't already told you where it was from.

4.5/5