ALBUM REVIEW: Lauren Ray’s ‘Woman In The Arena’

On May 10th, fast rising UK Country sensation Lauren Ray returns with her brand new album ‘Woman In The Arena’. The title is inspired by ‘Citizenship in a Republic’ – a speech by Theodore Roosevelt, which is often referred to as ‘The Man In The Arena.’ This speech speaks so much about vulnerability; it’s a willingness to be “all in” regardless of the outcome, which resonated with Ray when she was reading Brene Browns’ book ‘Daring Greatly.

The record has been produced by Julian Emery (Lissie/ Nothing But Thieves/ McFly) and mixed by Cenzo Townsend (George Ezra/ U2/ Florence & The Machine) and is a collection of 10 standout tracks from an artist quickly making a name for herself in the Country-Pop crossover genre.

The LP shines a light on Lauren Ray’s soaring, sweet vocal tone, strong songwriting talent and ability to blend genres together effortlessly from pop, classic singer/songwriter, soul and country. This creativity means that ‘Woman In The Arena’ never stands still musically and heads off into exciting territory from the very first opening which is a hugely infectious Country-Pop anthem ‘Moment’

The CD has an exhilarating mix of anthemic pop tinged anthems and slow, laid back ballads which showcase the breadth of talent Lauren possesses. ‘You Saved My Life’ is one of these sweet soaring ballad with its breathtaking, poignant lyrics it’s a major standout on the album.

Another major standout on ‘Woman In The Arena’ is the breathy ‘What We Came Here For’ this has soft Country undertones and lyrically it’s the strongest on the album and showcases the incredible talent Lauren has for weaving a story throughout her songs.

The record takes a funky turn on ‘I Decided On You’ which has Una Healy vibes and drives the album into exciting new territory. Sonically it has a pop production mixed with country lyrics and it has the potential to become a huge hit if chosen as an official single.

The penultimate track ‘It’s Not You Fault’ meanwhile blends together the sonic styles of Carly Pearce and Danielle Bradbery to create a timeless song that will become many listeners favourite track off this brilliant record. It’s a delicious slice of timeless Country tinged Pop and shines a light on Lauren’s gorgeous vocals.

The album closes out with ‘Something More’ which has a driving Pop beat combined with a soul edge and country lyrics. It’s a wonderful way to bring this standout LP to an end as it leaves you wanting more and brings together all the record’s genre styles perfectly.

RATING: 4/5

The full ‘Woman In The Arena’ tracklist is as follows:

Moment
You Saved My Life
It Was Worth It
What We Came Here For
Letting You Go
Irreplaceable
I Decided On You
Worthy
Its Not Your Fault
Something More

Laura Klonowski

Qualified music journalist! Writing single/album/live reviews, feature articles, interviews, and news pieces. Portfolio: lauraklonowski.com Twitter: @cherylssoldier1 Instagram: @musicandtournews Email: lauraklon14@gmail.com

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