Reprinted from annecarlini.com
Title – Messages from Aphrodite
Artist – Lauren Monroe
For those unaware, Lauren Monroe – singer, songwriter, and healing artist – announces her third album, Messages from Aphrodite (releasing September 9th, 2022), with the release of the new single, “If You Want.”
Co-produced by Monroe with the renowned Jim Scott, “If You Want” features a guest performance from the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Rick Allen, drummer of Def Leppard, and Monroe’s husband and frequent collaborator.
With its old-school Americana groove and splash of Southern soul, “If You Want” would slide seamlessly into a 1970s playlist featuring Fleetwood Mac, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt.
The song embodies Monroe’s messages of positivity, love, and healing through music. “In every moment we have a choice to live in love or in fear. To live in love or anger, in love or worry. In every moment we have the opportunity to choose love over and over again,” she says. “I believe that love is not just a feeling, it is a place, a home, a sanctuary of hope and meaning, but only if you choose it.”
Music and healing have always been a focal point in Monroe’s life. Through performance, storytelling, and art, she creates an intimate experience for her audiences, showing them how music can impact healing and growth.
Earlier this year, she and Allen played some intimate East Coast club dates during which they also displayed their mixed-media art, which was then auctioned online to benefit Raven Drum Foundation, an organization they founded with the mission to serve, educate and empower veterans dealing with PTSD and combat trauma, people in crisis and other at-risk individuals.
2. If You Want
4. Void of Course
5. Dream Again
6. Kiss Me Now
7. My Love
8. Big Love Lullaby
9. Can’t Let Go
10. Beautiful World
11. Calling All Angels
This beautifully crafted, creatively ambient new album opens on the aching yearn within Gold and then brings us the exquisite hipsway of the lead single, If You Want (which reminds us we have a choice to live in love or fear, to live in love or anger, in love or worry), which itself bleeds seamlessly into the second single, the effortless gossamer of Sparrow (a song that teaching us how to grieve, and be present with people who have crossed over), then comes the third single, the reaching, guitar-led rocker Void of Course (which lyrically comes from her interest in the ancient science of astrology).
Next up is the joyously rambunctious Dream Again and the joyously lush, Celtic-imbibed, mid-tempo balladry bounce of Kiss Me Now, and they are in turn followed by one of my own personal favorites from this quite diligently wonderful album, the passionate longing within My Love, and then comes the gentle foot tapper Big Love Lullaby, the country pop-rock raunch of Can’t Let Go, the recording rounding out on the free flowing Beautiful World, coming to a close on the stilled, yet fibrous Calling All Angels.
The title of the new album, Messages from Aphrodite, references the ancient Greek goddess of love in its myriad aspects, and signifies the emotional expanse of Monroe’s songs, to which she brings a rarefied degree of insight and compassion, enabling her to nimbly plumb the depths and scale the heights of the human condition in her songwriting.
Producer Jim Scott, who’s worked with more than his share of legends over the years, bears witness to Monroe’s alchemy. “Lauren is a special artist,” he asserts. “She’s tuned in to the spiritual workings of the heart and the mystical nature of the universe. She’s an empath, a healer, a teacher, visual artist, producer and songwriter; I also think she’s a time-traveler. Her songs guide, direct and uplift and are sonically beautiful.”
The songs are enlivened by Scott’s deft sonic sculpting of song-serving performances from musical luminaries such as guitarists Greg Leisz (k.d. lang, Matthew Sweet, Bill Frisell), Tyler Bryant (Larkin Poe, Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown), Brian Whelan (Dwight Yoakam), Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams) and David Garza (Fiona Apple, Watkins Family Hour); bassists Bob Glaub (Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Warren Zevon), Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing, Fiona Apple) and Mai Leisz (David Crosby), keyboardist John Ginty (Neal Casal, the Allman Betts Band); and backing vocalist Tammi Brown (Bobby McFerrin, Quincy Jones). In addition to Allen, the Heartbreakers’ Steve Ferrone and young dynamo Beth Goodfellow (Iron and Wine, Allison Russell) anchor the proceedings from behind their drum kits.