Atlanta-based Lauren Jordan has been tearing it up lately. She has a new album out, titled The Ride, which the young dynamo self-produced and released last month. Thankfully, it comes at a time when the world needs music more than any of the other noise coming out the media. The album livened up my rainy day, and it is certain to do the same for you.
“Tune To The Things We Used to Do” tears out of the gate with portentous guitar like a thoroughbred after a mechanical rodent. Lauren’s voice is leather and houndstooth, raw but refined. As the other instrumentation comes in, it fills the listener’s ears in balanced completeness, an homage to quality production. The song, both with lyrics and music, pays respect to the past, but in a way that takes full advantage of the present, with an optimistic glance toward the future. Lauren gives credit to those who have encouraged her as she makes her way along the path to musical glory.
With a nod to her churchy upbringing, Lauren continues the album with “Even Eve Gave In”. The song opens with guitar like hot biscuits, soon layered with buttery vocals. Lyrics explore trust in relationships: how it can be easily broken, misplaced, and worthwhile. The vagueness of the song gives it an intimate feel, an exploration of the human experience in a somewhat different realm from the other exploratory tracks in Lauren’s repertoire.
Pop-influenced “Dirty Blonde” is upbeat, with sweet guitar riffs and fun lyrics. Everything in this song is perfect: the tempo, the laryngeal maneuvers, and the omnipresent versatility of the guitar. This track would fit well into the soundtrack of a Hollywood high school hit. Perhaps with the right exposure, Lauren can score a prom scene. The track is fun and rocks acceptably, with a PG-13 rating.
Title track “The Ride” opens with a delicious guitar and a vignette populated with questionable company and inevitable excitement. The lyrics are more profound than those of “Dirty Blonde,” hinting at breaking through that constantly moving barrier that separates the ho-hum from the remarkable. The guitar solo outro on the track is delightfully quick, and piques my curiosity about seeing the track performed live. I suspect there’s more to it.
Flying on this whiskey high,
You charm me with those devious eyes
You grab the reigns and say, “Lets ride,”
And I hold on tightly for life
And we don’t know where this will go,
But we know we can’t say, “No…”
‘CAUSE Hell yeah, we’RE gonna ride, – Lauren Jordan “Ride”
The Ride is a nice follow-up to 2015’s 1000 Miles an Hour. Lauren’s lyrics delve deeper into the topics explored on her previous album. This is a lady who can rock. As I listen to the album, I get the sense that Lauren is capable of more. One is witness to glimmers of guitar greatness, but each time it occurs, it seems to be over before the listener has had the chance to properly close her eyes and surrender to the marvels of strings, wood, and electrons. I don’t want to be the type who makes uncouth demands of those otherly talented than me, but in Lauren’s music I hear something latent. The sort of thing that takes some really scary leaps of faith to get to. But it’s there, hiding amongst the smooth chord transitions and flawless vocals. Lauren Jordan is a talented musician who is well in control of her music. I wonder what she would come up with on a reclusive vacation surrounded by some familiar and not-so-familiar equipment.