Album Review: Lauren Ray – We Will Need Courage

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Lauren Ray

We Will Need Courage

Release Date: 1st July 2016

British singer songwriter Lauren Ray has recently released debut album ‘We Will Need Courage’. After the release of her debut EP last year and two singles this year ‘Drive’ and ‘Come To Me’, all receiving great reviews, Lauren is back with her first full length release. Packed with plenty of soul, pop influences, country and folk afflictions; this is an absolute wonder of an album.

The album opens with ‘Drive’ and it’s beautifully flowing piano line that dominates the track. Padding percussion punctuates tinkling keys as a strong yet complimentary addition to the music. The vocals are utterly stunning, full of harmonies and match the wonderful rise and fall of the percussion. This soulful ballad is an excellent way to open up this debut LP.

Next up is another previous single ‘Come To Me’. Again this features soft, tinkling piano keys creating a tranquil calm throughout the track. The addition of the vocals sees wonderful harmonies weave throughout the strong delivery, hint of attitude and soulful edge. Choruses feature a great rhythm from the drums and drawn out strings for an extra taste of awesome.

The soft quietness of the drums, piano and guitars on ‘Unexpected Man’ make for another hushed song. The vocals really are the main feature of the album and it’s easy to see why. With such wonderful harmonies, soaring notes, soulful afflictions and a truly impressive vocal delivery from Lauren on every single track.

‘Paying For Love’ has a more R’n’B vibe with wobbly elongated notes sitting proudly on top of a rising and falling piano line and a rapid drum beat. When the vocals are added, they are packed full of soul and defiance and the music quietens to showcase the best of them. There are obvious hints of 90’s R’n’B here but ultimately it remains a wonderful modern day ballad.

There is a country vibe to ‘One of the Lucky Ones’ with quickly strummed guitars, fast padding drums and a country twang to the vocal. This seem to give it a strength and poppy attitude not heard before. While ‘Stay’ is hushed to the point of almost silence with soft piano melodies sitting behind emotional, lilting vocals. As we hit the choruses, squealing guitar strums and stretched violin chords build up the layers. Quickening the tempo slightly whilst still holding on to the flowing atmosphere.

The gentle ebb and flow of the piano keys opens up ‘Man’ with a strong yet subdued sound. The vocals again are dominant and laced with harmony from verses and through choruses. Those choruses are the turning point for the track to be taken up a notch with crashing cymbals, guitar riffs and the addition of sing-song backing vocals.

‘Get On Board’ is a jazzy, upbeat number with bouncy keys and padding drum beats. We jump from note to note through splashing hi-hats, commanding guitar moments and great breakdowns. Vocally, we have some great confidence from Lauren which completely compliments this strong, sassy track. While ‘What Would You Do?’ is a calmer, more relaxed song with sparse chords from the ebbing and flowing piano line. The vocals are completely in opposition to those on this last track; they are softer, almost hushed and delicate in their delivery throughout.

Final track ‘Pull The Trigger’ is another one full of flowing melodies, gentle in their execution. Piano chords punctuate the lilting flow of the vocals that have told wonderful stories all throughout this album. It is the last hurrah of the album and the soaring vocal harmonies along with the final chorus laced with great beats alongside that piano line really does play us out brilliantly.

Check out Lauren’s brand new video for ‘Man’ below:

To find out more about Lauren Ray visit her website, her Soundcloud page, her Facebook page or you can follow her on Twitter – @laurenraymusic

Credits

Lauren Ray photo – Rebecca Miller

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