Elsewhere, "Save Me" follows a twangier, more up-tempo path because of its more conventional guitar-bass-drums arrangements and Wilson's animated vocals. She kicks things off with a straight-shooting couplet, "You might think that I want more than this/But your kiss isn't that good," her unflinching delivery mirroring the confident message of the song "Don't Even Start." That candor permeates the album: The title track carries the same kind of self-exposure (and the same nearly hoarse vocals) as Sheryl Crow's early singles.
Despite the five-year hiatus between albums, most of "Save Me" is devoted to covers rather than to originals, including a saucy version of Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle." Her choice to turn Bruce Springsteen's melancholy "Ain't Got You" into a duet with Last Train Home's Eric Brace twists the song's original loneliness into a glimmer of hope. That creative reinterpretation combined with her outspoken delivery is precisely what makes Wilson so enchanting.
-- Catherine P. Lewis