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Album/Single Reviews

ALBUM REVIEW: Lauren Jenkins – ‘No Saint’



No Saint: introducing Lauren Jenkins! Big Machines’ little pocket rocket. Jenkins is already on the New York Times, Billboard, Rolling Stone and Pandora, Artist to Watch lists!

Born in Texas and raised in Carolina, singer-songwriter Lauren is no stranger to life on the road. Touring the US since she was a teen, she has just completed her first U.K. C2C Festival appearances. Wowing UK audiences over the early March weekender and dropping No Saint on the 18th, it’s been a busy start to 2019 for Lauren.

Ahead of the album release, Give Up The Ghost was already available to purchase as a single. It’s the first track on the album and it packs a punch! Gritty and authentic… What a way to open!

Followed by You’ll Never Know, where Jenkins channels an early Taylor Swift vibe. Although, her vocal digs deeper and brings a more truthful and relative storytelling. It’s lived. It’s real.

She has a voice reminiscent to that of a Country Nora Jones. Gripping, gritty, soulful and moving.

The title track No Saint, begins with an introduction of soft acoustic and a very gentle, yet prominent vocal. The focus of this track is Lauren’s voice and lyric. She’s taken the classic ‘sad country song’ and transformed it into an almost building ballad. Telling a different story about a break up for the women of country… she’s not focussed on cussin’ out and shaming the man, she’s also appreciating that she’s ‘no saint’ either. With biblical references to forgiveness, this one hits home hard. Her voice almost ruins you, once you’re invested in the lyrics. Most definitely my favourite of the record.

Payday is a foot-stomping Maren Morris-esque drinking song. Let all of those troubles fade away and just let the hood liquor flow!

The last track on the record Blood, is also a favourite of mine. Another song focussed on the raw vocal. However, she takes the tone created by the lyrics to a much darker place;

‘I’m helpless, watching you fade away
The bitches they say only god can save’

‘Ripping all your veins out won’t change a thing
Painting angels black won’t wash away your pain
Dying’s no way to prove we’re not the same
The blood in you… is the blood in me.’

‘Do another line of cocaine (cocaine)
Cause the whiskey don worn off
The blood in you… is the blood in me’

Quite the contrast to the biblical references in No Saint. A very bold and brave move, but it works and the outcome is flawless.

Although the whole album has no particular ‘sound’, the variety of content showcases Lauren’s vulnerability, power, unmistakable vocals and lyrical prowess. I love that every song is different! Channelling an 80’s sound with some tracks, Americana infusion and the ever pleasing, radio worthy country-pop. She’s produced a body of work to be proud of. The eclectic 10-track record appeals to even the most stubborn listener… not normally my cup of tea, but I am in love with this album and sad to say I missed her live!

Katie Hutchinson

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