Lauren Anderson grew up singing and took classical training when she was young. She attended grad school in Kansas City and gained a Music Therapy degree. She then worked for seven years on a paediatric unit, using music to help kids cope with chronic illnesses, kids at risk with incarcerated parents and kids getting in and out of trouble who needed a little bit of help. She was playing music at night and took the decision to pursue music full time. Lauren has a new album “Love On the Rocks” due out this month which comes six years since her debut “Truly Me”.
We open with `Keep On` which begins as an almost a capella number before it becomes almost a field holler piece with harmonising vocals, handclaps, and foot stomps. Lauren`s vocal is a joy to behold on this quite gospel tinged offering. Title track `Love On the Rocks` is a sultry sensual bluesy offering with some delightful organ tinges and an understated guitar solo just over midway.
`Back to Chicago` is another soulful bluesy offering. A tale of recovering from a bruised relationship and delivering an ultimatum to that lover to buck up their ideas quickly as they`re leaving. We have a steady bass and keys and a superb blistering guitar solo in the latter part of the song. I thought there was initially a sort of Steely Dan vibe about `The Way I Want` then it became more of a breezy R&B outing.
`Holding Me Down` has some quite orchestrated strings on this powerful declaration of love and along with a cracking guitar solo, Lauren`s vocals are given free reign to soar. We have a much more straight at you rock number with `Just Fucking Begun` that flies along.
`I`m Done` is a funkier soulful R&B outing which to me sounded a little like Sam and Dave`s “Hold On, I’m Comin’”. There`s a wonderful intensity with `Stand Still`, a formidable slow burn melodic powerhouse of a ballad, a declaration of love and imploring their lover to commit to each other.
The album closes out with another ballad `Your Turn` which again allows the singer to showcase her powerful vocal range.
Lauren Anderson has persuaded some talented musicians to bring to life the nine songs she has written during the worldwide pandemic on `Love On The Rocks` with Jim Greene (guitar), Kiran Gupta (keys/organ), Jon & Liz Estes (strings), Hutch (bass), Matt Doctor (drums) and Mike Zito (guest guitar on `Back to Chicago`). This lady certainly has a set of lungs and can belt out a tune with the best of them. The album was pretty varied with gospel, funk, R&B, Blues, and rock all vying for position. Lauren can certainly render and make a song her own and on the strength of this could be up there giving Beth Hart a run for her money real soon.
Rating 8.5 /10