LAURA COX

(FRANCE)

HEAD ABOVE WATER

(2023)
LABEL:

VERYCORDS

GENRE:

ROCK

/ BLUES
TAGS:
Bluesy, Female vocals, Folk, Groovy, Guitar-Hero, Melancholic, Old School, Southern
"With "Head Over Water", Laura Cox seems to want to capitalize with talent on the elements that made the success of "Burning Bright" but she loses some warmth and authenticity."
LOLOCELTIC (17.02.2023)  
3/5
(0) opinions (1) comment(s)
With "Burning Bright", Laura Cox had more than confirmed the hopes born from her first album. She seemed to have found her identity by plunging her roots in a classic rock  of the most beautiful effect, helped by the sound that Howie Weinberg had concocted for her. Moreover, the complicity shared with the three members of her band was a pleasure to see and offered an unstoppable groove. Unfortunately, the Covid crisis came and went and Laura had to do what everyone else in the artistic community is doing and try to keep her head above water. Hence the title of her new opus ("Head Over Water"), released at the beginning of 2023, which sees Ted Jensen (The Police, Eric Clapton, Pantera, Muse, Norah Jones, Coldplay...) replacing Howie Weinberg on mastering. Of course, the man's CV speaks for itself, but there is still a worry about the sound he will offer to the Franco-British girl, as the one of "Burning Bright" had contributed to its quality.

The answer to this questioning is immediate as soon as the eponymous track opens the hostilities with a very Stonian rock riff, a catchy chorus and an aerial break preceding a gleaming solo. Goodbye to the grainy side of the previous opus and welcome to a smooth and flawless production. Linked to this change of sound, the compositions are less classic-hard-rock and more US rock. The quality is still there and there is an addictive groove on tracks such as the unstoppable singles 'So Long' and 'Wiser'. The energy of the whirlwind 'One Big Mess' or the big boogie 'Swing It Out' also carries everything along and no track can be considered weak. Also worth mentioning is 'Fever', the little brother of 'As I Am' on the previous album, which starts off with a mid-tempo boogie with AC/DC accents and throws a formidable acceleration on its second part.

However, there is something missing from this "Head Over Water", and it goes beyond the absence of the warmth of its 2019 elder. First of all, there's the feeling that Laura Cox is trying to emulate some of the elements that made her successful three years earlier. We mentioned 'Fever', which nevertheless effectively repeats many points of a track already present on 'Burning Bright', but we could also have referred to 'Old Soul', a moving and melancholic ballad that immediately reminds us of 'Just Another Game' by being placed in the same place in the tracklist. The same goes for the pale and ethereal 'Glassy Day', which closes the album with a few flashes of steel guitar. It's impossible to criticize these tracks, which are touching every time, but the feeling that the quartet didn't want to take any risks for their third opus is particularly strong. And it's not the recurrent use of the banjo on many tracks that will prevent this feeling from spreading.

With "Head Over Water", Laura Cox seems to want to capitalise on most of the elements that made the success of "Burning Bright". She does it with class but this album lacks the warmth and authenticity that gave its predecessor its charm. Moreover, it seems that Laura has recently fired her guitarist partner Mathieu Albiac. After the replacement of bassist François Delacoudre by Adrien Kah, this would explain the absence of the band's musicians on the various videos illustrating the first singles of this opus. It remains to be seen what will happen to the career of an artist whose talent is obvious but who risks losing his brilliance if he is locked into a too domesticated approach.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. Head Above Water - 4:10
02. So Long - 3:02
03. One Big Mess - 3:57
04. Set Me Free - 4:08
05. Old Soul - 3:45
06. Wiser - 4:43
07. Before We Get Burned - 3:46
08. Seaside - 4:28
09. Fever - 5:27
10. Swing It Out - 4:18
11. Glassy Days - 3:03

LINEUP:
Adrien Kah: Basse
Antonin Guerin: Batterie
Laura Cox: Chant / Guitares / Banjo Et Steel-guitar
Mathieu Albiac: Guitares
   
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KINGEDDIE
22/02/2023
 
218
0
Le problème principal de cet opus de Laura Cox est un peu la "transparence": si c'est une qualité en politique, c'est un handicap en musique... bien sûr pas question de nier le talent évident de la dame mais les compos, sans être mauvaises, sont souvent dans la case "passe-partout"( rien à voir avec Fort Boyard !).. je n'ai aucun reproche particulier à formuler,si ce n'est ce manque de"flamme "qui vous accroche l'oreille et qui vous fait revenir...je l'ai vu en concert, elle dépote beaucoup plus que ça....
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