Mayfield has insisted for years that love is treacherous and obliterating, and on Make My Head Sing... her guitar enacts that romantic violence. It provides an intriguing counterpart to her vocals, turning her inner monologues into something like an argument.
Make My Head Sing... is an album of contradictions. It's full of unreliable narrators who sometimes revel in jealousy, willful insanity and drugs even as her voice and the music suggest that sanity is a better option. The music is heavy, but it soars. Her guitar riffs thud and slam, but they maintain a propulsive forward motion. Her voice frequently seems on the verge of getting buried in the mix, but then producer Newport pulls her vocal out and up so that it quivers over the melody. The tension in all these contradictions is what gives Jessica Lea Mayfield's music its blunt power, and its subtlety.