Laura Cox Presents HEAD ABOVE WATER Album Review — A Modern Classic

The first thing one is struck with upon listening to the song Head Above Water is the familiar style of guitar and the power behind it. The rock and bluegrass sound of this song reminds it why it has endured for so long. The next thing one hears is the vocals of Laura Cox.

We learn from the album’s promotional materials that ---French guitarist Laura  got her start on Youtube and Instagram. With a channel that boasts over half a million subscribers, she has been reimagining classic guitar sounds in her music. Since then she has played some of the biggest festivals in Europe and has even had a documentary made about her quick rise. Her latest album Head Above Water contains 11 songs each using classic guitar and banjo sounds as well as lyrics that contain topical subject matter. 

Laura Cox Album is About Moving On and Keeping Going 

Much of Head Above Water has a familiar sound to it, one that seems similar to that of the 60s and 70s rock. The use of rifts and electric guitar keeps our attention with its power and its familiar sound. This has different effects on each song, from the powerful and uplifting message of Head Above Water to the more introspective songs such as Set Me Free, Old Soul, and Wiser. Bluegrass riffs also give the songs a lot of character, in this reviewer’s opinion,  as with each one, a clear beat is felt and energy is captured keeping us listening until the end.

The lyrics however are more reminiscent of the modern era, with Wiser talking about the singer looking at their life now that they are a little older, and Before We Get Burned talking about an imminent self-destruction.

Tell me why

you’d rather slide your way through life 

Then fight for what is right.

The only real departure is the group of songs toward the latter half of the album, Fever and Swinging it Out, which both talk about the singer in a toxic relationship and what they do to either try to make it work or get out of it. Powerful guitar adds to the lyrics conveying the tumultuousness of the relationship.

While the album is rife with hard guitars and powerful vocals, there are two songs that differ, Seaside and Glassy Days. Seaside is a break in more ways than one, it slows the pace that had been set by previous songs and it tells a more mournful tale of someone realizing the place they are in. 

If anybody said it was gonna be easy

Just get us out of here and write another story

We hear water—the only time the album uses sound other than vocals and instrumentals.  

Glassy Days are more of a relief, a song that looks to better days ahead, glassy days. Both songs utilize a slower guitar and smoother sound, with a calming effect. 

For everyone looking for a modern example of that classic guitar sound or who loves blue grass guitars, Laura Cox delivers with a little bit extra on the side. 


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For more information, visit the Laura Cox website.

Photos Courtesy of Laura Cox

Claire Hooper
Claire Hooper

About the Author: Claire Hooper

Claire likes creepy!  Claire likes weird too!

Whether it’s horror, fantasy or the screenplays and novels now being written in the back of her mind—Claire is drawn to the surreal. The more non-linear a story unfolds, the more Claire expects to love it and linger with it.

Her many friends who eagerly await baker Claire’s next batch of chocolate chip cookies need not fear that the love of horror and thrillers creeps into her sweet offerings. Those are long-held family recipes she safeguards to share with the circle of friends whom she loves to hang out with, whenever is not writing or studying.

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