Following the late June release of What A Song Can Do (Chapter One), Lady A finally completes the album with seven new tracks that both revisits and expands on the trio’s roots in country music. Being their first complete album release after their name change, the trio makes it clear that their roots are still grounded in their previous work with help from other artists such as Thomas Rhett, Carly Pearce, Ryan Hurd, and more! Lady A defines their sound as contemporary country, soft rock, and melodic pop throughout the entire album.
Lady A member, Dave Haywood, makes his debut as a vocalist in “Workin’ on This Love”– an ode of emotion and love he shares that he wrote as a gift for his wife. “It started as just a song I wrote for my wife for Mother’s Day this year. I actually didn’t buy her a gift. I just wrote her a song. And I’ve always wanted to do that for her… I just thought ‘Man, it might be neat, a different character or a different flavor for fans to hear from me on one.’” Knowing this, just makes the track even more vulnerable and intimate for devoted fans and new listeners alike.
Track nine has the potential to break country music records with not just Lady A’s contribution, but that of friends Carly Pearce, Thomas Rhett, and Darius Rucker featured. Haywood shares in a comment on “Friends Don’t Let Friends”, “These are all really good friends of ours, genuinely. We wanted to make sure it felt real and authentic. These are all friends that we hang out with when we’re back at home or before and after events in Nashville or award shows. So that made it a fun party.” All that Haywood says is already clear just in the first listen of this song. The friend group’s voices flow together flawlessly, just confirming this isn’t their first time jamming out together.
“You know friends don’t let friends drink alone / Gotta have a little help to get that memory gone / If you’re gonna make a bad decision, you shouldn’t make it on your own / Yeah, friends don’t let friends drink alone”
“In Waves” gives us a sense of those first few months after a breakup where the comfortability of the other person still lingers in waves. The popular saying “missing you comes in waves” highlights the song, but Lady A seamlessly gives it individuality with their unique sound. On the other side of the aftermath of a breakup, hit “You Keep Thinking That” has Hillary Scott singing in her own confident sound against the twangy beat “I hate to break it to ya / I’m doin’ better since you been gone / Sorry boy, you got it all wrong / But you keep thinkin’ that.” The placement of “You Keep Thinking That” just after “In Waves” is genius on Lady A’s part, giving their listeners that have been on either side of the story a chance to sing along.
“Be That For You” features writing credit from both Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, along with Corey Crowder. “I’ll be your steady, I’ll be your strong / I’ll be your hold on tight / I’ll be your lazy Sunday at home / Your good time on Friday night / I’ll be your sun, I’ll be your rain / I’ll be your dream come true” are lyrics that can apply to any relationship, whether it be romantic, platonic, or familial. This song is the perfect ode of devotion to another person besides yourself and will be a staple for years in any kind of relationship.
Kelley shares on the only song he didn’t write, “I feel like that one has a very quintessential Lady A sound to it.” and he goes even deeper with a personal twist on the lyrics, “Where would I be if I wasn’t in that bar when Hillary walked up and had heard my music on Myspace? Where would I be if Dave hadn’t moved to Nashville? I think about it a lot.” Kelley’s comparison to his own life and the band’s journey is enough to make devoted fan’s hearts flutter, and get us relating it to our own lives, thinking of that defining moment and where would we be without it.
“Where would I be without your lovin’ / What would I do if I woke up one day / And found out this was all a dream / And where would I be without your song / Reminding me I’m always home / As long as I can hear your melody / Well, God only knows / If you never found me / Where would I be?”
“Swore I Was Leaving” is the perfect place to leave us at the end of What A Song Can Do. With all three Lady A members in the writing process, along with Jordan Reynolds and Parker Welling, it’s sworn to be a lyrical melody we won’t easily forget. Reynolds and Kelley’s voices blend together effortlessly in the chorus, where the lyrics reveal a longing within a repetitive cycle between two people. “I swore I was leaving / After this drink / Till you walked in this evening / And changed everything / Now we both know what’s coming / At the end of the night / I swore I was leaving / But with us, it’s never goodbye.” They not only leave us with the same sense of longing and heartache, but full with remnants of the past tracks of friendship, love ballads, and fun drunken nights. At the end of all of it, the last thing Lady A says to us is the word goodbye.
The second installment to What A Song Can Do exceeds expectations of listeners and fulfills the high anticipation left by chapter one. Lady A’s voices and melodies blend together as effortlessly as ever, handing us nostalgia on a silver platter that leads us back to when they first formed in 2006. It’s a new era, a new name, and new influences– but brings us all back to a sense of home we’ve been missing since the release of their 2019 album Ocean. With the second installment, Lady A proves to us, themselves, and their friends, What A Song Can Do.
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