Friday, September 29, 2017

“Well, Hell” by Lauren Ruth Ward – A Song Review

     The charismatic Lauren Ruth Ward unleashed another slice of raw power with her latest single, “Well, Hell.” Ward describes the track as “an auto-biographical song that deals with frustrations, both with my upbringing and with society as a whole, that have long been forgiven but not forgotten.”

     After a 7-second guitar/percussion intro, Ward begins with insights into the attitudes of her parents. As noted in the lyrics, you better “listen fast” or get left behind. There are a few slowdowns that allow the listener to take a breath, but Ward packs a range of thoughts into a relatively short song (2:28). She even throws in quotes from hits by David Bowie, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. 

     Two thoughts involving comparisons:
  1. It is interesting to compare the “Well, Hell” approach to one taken in “Not Worth Hiding,” which also references parents whose child doesn’t fit into their “tradition” sexual preference. That 2017 song is a slow-paced story from Australia’s Alex the Astronaut.
  2. An appreciation for the dynamic and charismatic performance personality of Lauren Ruth Ward is accelerated by comparing three videos of Ward (and her skilled bandmates) performing “Well, Hell” in different live settings. The videos are embedded below. They show performances in an intimate Sofar setting, atop a roof on a BalconyTV stage, and during an energized Echoplex visit (the audio is less than ideal). 

     Quoting a bio sent by Purple Bite, the Los Angeles PR firm:
  "Lauren Ruth Ward's music has spread like wildfire these past two years in LA after leaving her hometown of Baltimore. Her lyrics are secrets to strangers, writing about her life’s trajectory sharing both vulnerability and strength delivered with grit and vibrato. Her band re-creates 60's rock and roll nuances, allowing Ward to release a powerhouse of emoting in their live show. Lauren is joined by Eduardo Rivera who is her songwriter partner. Lately Lauren has garnered the support of Spotify’s 'Badass Women,' LA Weekly, Galore, Wonderland Magazine, Jam In The Van, and Sofar Sounds."

     “Well, Hell” by Lauren Ruth Ward 

Lyrics of “Well, Hell” by Lauren Ruth Ward 
My daddy says he's “friends with Uncle Sam.”
I try to change his mind in those baby booming ways
Both my hands are full and I still forgot something
I walk fast, I talk fast, you better listen fast, or get left behind

My mama loves me, she squeezes me, she believes in medicine
Wants me to succeed
And fix "those things" inside my head.
"Love is not loving" mama
That's what Bowie said

He's got some secrets he can't wait to tell.
Cathartic, robotic, don't worry about hurting bodies.
Guess you don't believe in hell?
Well, "Hell.”

She comes around, he kicks her down, she still licks his shadow off the ground
Until I make a sound.
"Don't be cruel to a heart that's true"
Like Elvis crowned.

Maybe I should see my therapist
She makes me feel sane
I didn't mean to make your head spin
I have a lot to say
I have a lot to say

My puzzle's easy to solve
‘Cause I still got all my pieces - peace man.
You're like a dart on the wall
A far cry from the bull's-eye
You better hold tight or you will fall.

I think I'm aggressive?
I'm just obsessive
Maybe I'll sleep when I'm dead
"The best is yet to come"
Like Frankie said

Maybe I should see my therapist
She makes me feel sane
I didn't mean to make your head spin
I have a lot to say
I have a lot to say
I had a lot to say
I had a lot to say
Thank you for listening to what we have to say.
I have a lot to say

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