Artist:Lauren Monroe
Album: Messages From Aphrodite
Label: Mukti Bella Rose
Tracks: 11

Born in New York and based in California, Monroe juggles her musical career with being a celebrated metal health advocate, her experiences of the human condition feeding back into her songs. She also happens to be married to Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen who accompanies her on the album alongside such names as Doug Pettibone, Greg Leisz, Bob Glaub, Steve Ferrone and Tyler Brant.

Titled for the Greek warrior goddess of love, the album spans a range of styles, opening with the sparse strum and croon of ‘Gold’, David Garza on vibraphone, a soulful song of support and comfort as she sings “Don’t be afraid the tears will come and go and I’ll bring you light to blanket all the cold”. Monroe adding djembe to the mix, the pace then shifts to a more upbeat shuffle for ‘If You Want’ which also offers place of refuge (“if you want you can hide”) but encourages to face the world and live in love not fear. ‘Sparrow’, about flying free above the darkened days and the lies, is more of a folksier sound, then, opening with drone a comes the album’s weight anchor, the Latin rhythm ‘Void Of Course’ which, with some growly electric guitar, addresses struggling through mental health issues, using the astrological term for when the moon appears isolated as it transitions away from one planet and moves toward another as a metaphor for being caught in a toxic (“you wear me like a suit always faking the truth”) and needing to embrace self-love but not having the strength to break free.