Reckless is the highly anticipated full-length debut album from singer-songwriter Morgan Wade. The Floyd, Virginia native admitted in an interview with The Tie That Binds Us that her sobriety is what made this album possible. After releasing her lead single for the record “Don’t Cry” back in December 2020, a song about introspection and being kinder to oneself, Wade now presents a closer look into her personal life with a collection of 10 songs that mix rock ‘n’ roll with a country twang.
The album opens with “Wilder Days,” an upbeat, fun song with bittersweet lyrics about wishing you knew the person you currently love, who is older than you when they were younger. This song was a pre-release single and it should’ve been. The song starts with throbbing guitar pulses and continuously builds up to the chorus that features heavy drums which beautifully accompany Wade’s gritty vocals. “Wilder Days” sounds like a spontaneous road trip in the wild west. A song to play with the windows down, and the breeze gliding through your hair. The lyrics that encapture the track come in the second verse when Wade sings “And who were you before I knew your name? / Were you drunk at midnight waiting for the train? / You could have been anyone back then / Just another kid reaching for the wind.”
The themes of love and relationships are seen throughout the entirety of Reckless with songs like “Matches and Metaphors,” the second song on the tracklist that provides a stark contrast to “Wilder Days.” “Matches and Metaphors” is a beautiful, stripped-back confessional, and Wade’s vocals are soft as she sings the vulnerable lyrics. Other love-filled songs that burst with admiration are “Mend,” “Take Me Away,” and “Last Cigarette” where Wade compares desire to addiction.
Mogan Wade Reckless
Another standout track is “Other Side.” Wade has been open about her struggle with addiction and the journey to sobriety in the past. In “Other Side,” she sings about a relationship with someone who had been with her through her tough journey and helped her to the other side. She sings “You’ve seen the parts of me that the world says I should hide / But even in the dark you love my bitter heart / And we’ll make it to the other side.” This track is a relief; it’s a breath of fresh air. “Other Side” feels like coming into the light at the end of a dark tunnel and Wade’s voice sounds naturally effortless as she sings this story, making it feel comforting and hopeful. There’s a powerful guitar solo that kind of comes out of nowhere on this track too; it’s a great touch.
Some of Wade’s most powerful lyricism is shown on track “Don’t Cry,” the lead single of the album. In the last lines of the chorus, she wails out “Lose yourself and break your heart / It’s a beautiful thing to fall apart.” On the title track “Reckless,” the lyrics themselves truly make the listener feel as though things are out of control. The end of the catchy chorus features the vivid lines, “My heart is broken on the side of the road / I could fix it if I head home / But you ain’t here to drive me / Reckless.” Listening to this song feels like having your car break down when you’re lost in the middle of nowhere, waiting for someone to come help you but they never show up.
The album closes with “Met You” and unlike the rest of the album, this song is slow, sad, and drawn out. When listening to this project in order, this song sets itself apart completely and hits the listener like a truck. The writing in this song feels like Wade pouring her heart out in a stream of consciousness burst of thought to her ex-lover who has left her. The finale of this album showcases Morgan Wade’s excellent lyricism as she references author Ernest Hemingway and his first wife Hadley. The song ends abruptly as the last two lines of the song tragically parallel each other. Wade laments, “I’d seen it all, or so I thought, until I met you / I’d seen it all, or so I thought, until I lost you.” The final “you” echoes and then the song cuts off as the journey Wade takes us on throughout Reckless comes to a haunting close.
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