Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

B.J. O'Malley 

In Love and Decay (Littletown Records)

Willie Nelson wrote "Crazy," the song that Patsy Cline made a country classic, and he's said that it was originally titled "Stupid." B.J. O'Malley starts In Love and Decay by picking up where Willie left off, resignedly crooning at the conclusion of "Welcome": "Ideally, love is all there is/But really, I think love is dumb." Fifteen songs later, she feels a little better, closing the disc by singing, "So long/Farewell/I don't need you dragging me down." It's not happy, but it's good.

On her previous five albums, the Youngstown native was a honky-tonk gal with energy to burn, but the relationships she sang about in stompers like "One Drink at a Time" have since ended badly. "Stay Awhile" finds a lovelorn O'Malley reinventing herself as singer-songwriter, finding solace in a weeping guitar. Even her friends have abandoned her, and "Honestly" is downright dark. They don't make country like this anymore -- but then again, like Willie and Patsy, B.J. is bigger than just country.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by D.X. Ferris

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays
  • Kiry Shabazz @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Jan. 27
  • Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood @ Packard Music Hall

    • Thu., Jan. 27

© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation