Lindsay Ell is usually to be found with a big smile on her face doing what she loves which is, of course making music, but when she starting writing material for `Heart Theory’ she realised that as she progressed, she was actually writing about the seven stages of grief. As a result, this twelve-track album plots these stages and exposes Ell’s own story to the fans which is both brave and is due true respect.
Starting out with `Hits me’ which is co-written with Corey Crowder and Tyler Hubbard, is a pop-based track which explores grief and how the shock of realisation of change can affect you. `How Good’ oozes catchy riffs, melodic hooks and a snappy powerful vocal from Ell as she questions how good it could be.
`I Don’t Love You’ takes us towards an Alanis Morrisette styled slow number whose lyrics are heartfelt and sung with passion. We stay in a slower mode but introduce a power ballad mode on `Want Me Back’ which hops between meaty power chords and gentler clean muted guitar lines interspersed by a tasteful guitar solo.
`Get Over You’ looks at how a previous partner needs to gets themselves sorted and see Ell rocking some cool wah based guitar lines and a chorus that is truly memorable and hits home well. `Wrong Girl’ continues with the same theme but is faster paced and more anthemic in delivery by bringing in string passages.
`Body Language Of A Breakup’ looks at a relationship as an outsider looking in. Smoother guitar phrasings and a Katy Perry esque delivery comes in to play here. Things calm and slow down with `Good On You’. This gentle but funky track lightens the mood considerably as its melodic, almost rapped lyrics and breathy vocal tone brings a smile to proceedings.
Recovery is underway emotionally on `The Other Side’ and see a return to a pop feel and fluid guitar runs dripping through this track. `Go To’ gets its keyboard led party under way and shows the return of the Nashville side of Ell as well as a meaty guitar solo.
We throw the brakes right on as `Make You’ pours out its heart-rending pop ballad mood. Coming out the other side of this emotional roller-coaster ride of life, we arrive in a positive mode with the final track, `Ready To Love’. Harmonised vocals, rousing life statements and energy ooze from this song.
Lindsay Ell is not a manufactured pop princess nor is she a middle of the road country singer. Her musical journey has seen her song writing prowess expand exponentially to point where at this, her third album, she can tackle difficult issues which are both poignant and written from personal experience. The songs found here are a bridge between pop, country and rock and as a result, Ell is carving her own personal style out. What we have here is a hugely talented woman who can write brilliantly and is also a fantastic guitarist to boot. This album is her most commercial yet and (Covid allowing) is going to gain her many more fans when these tracks are played live. Go girl!
Review: Paul Sabin
Heart Theory Is Released Friday, August 14th Via BMG
Heart Theory track listing (with writers)
a journey through the seven stages of grief
- “Hits me” (Lindsay Ell, Tyler Hubbard, Corey Crowder)
- “how good” (Lindsay Ell, Brandy Clark)
- “i don’t lovE you” (Adam Hambrick, Melissa Fuller, Neil Medley)
- “wAnt me back” (Lindsay Ell, Kane Brown, Matt McGinn, Lindsay Rimes)
- “get oveR you” (Lindsay Ell, Gordie Sampson, Kelly Archer)
- “wrong girl” (Lindsay Ell, Steph Jones, Matt McGinn, Luke Niccoli)
- “body language of a breakup” (Lindsay Ell, Laura Veltz, Sam Ellis)
- “good on you” (Lindsay Ell, Sam Ellis, Micah Premnath)
- “The oTHEr side” (Lindsay Ell, Jessie Jo Dillon, Matt McGinn)
- “gO to” (Lindsay Ell, Nicolle Gaylon, Jordan Reynolds)
- “make you” (Lindsay Ell, Brandy Clark)
- “ReadY to love” (Lindsay Ell, Jessie Jo Dillon, Matt McGinn, Joey Hyde)
For more information visit: www.LindsayEll.com.