Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
Vulnerability exposed is to be expected somewhere along the line in any artist’s life, it is the touch of the mercurial that has been opened to the elements, uncovered truths as the musician, the poet or the painter is given more time by those who express an interest in such things and breathe fire into the next piece of work offered. Vulnerable in artistic terms is not to be seen as weak or in a position of susceptibility, it is just a rose opening up to the praise and the sunlight and With All Its Thorns showing.
Laura Benitez And The Heartache’s follow up to Heartless Woman is extraordinarily strong, dominating, persuasive and superbly captured; it is the single flare caught in the night sky, the eye focusing solely on the range, the passionate explosion and the sound it makes, the colours flying across the sky and how good it knows that you watched it from conception to eruption.
There is also the overwhelming feeling of pressure cut loose by Laura Benitez, even though the force, the drive, to succeed, to bring something very special to the musical table is always a positive and irresistible urge, it is a case of being awe-inspired to hear the subtlety of relaxed enjoyment speaking up above the often verbal abuse thrown to such creative endeavours.
That rare state of confidence in anyone’s work is brought forth by Ms. Benitez herself and the musicians she has surrounded herself with, Bob Spector, Ian Sutton, Mike Anderson and Steve Pearson; this comfortable quartet brings out the siren in Ms. Benitez, her song heard from miles around and one that entices the listener to feel their way to the shores, to tackle the tsunami of heartbreak and other’s horizons and bask in the memory being offered.
In songs such as Whiskey Makes Me Love You, The Fool I Am Right Now, Ghostship, the absolutely majestic story of female revenge In Red and Nora Went Down The Mountain, Laura Benitez has channelled the unconditional surrender of all who open themselves up to the album and instead of roses surrounded on all sides by thorns, they instead visualise the stately, the elegant and the regal; a country offering which cuts through the pompous and the imperial and is just a reflection of the modest and exceptional woman behind the album.
Take life With All Its Thorns, for in the possibility of pain as you grip the rose tightly, you can appreciate the beauty even more.
Laura Benitez And The Heartache’s With All Its Thorns is released on January 26th 2018.
Ian D. Hall