Review: Lindsay Ell’s “The Project”

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Since the young age of 15, Lindsay Ell has been rocking the country charts with incredibly versatile albums. With jazz, country, rock, and other musical styles packed into her music, she has been showing us exactly what female musicians are made of.

Lindsay Ell has received many nominations for music awards, including the Canadian Female Artist of the Year award. Recently, her album The Project was released and became the No. 1 selling country album within a week of its release. Her seasoned musicianship is shown through this new album- and she wears the number one crown proudly.

The Project begins with the track “Waiting on You.” As many new and budding lovers would agree, this song makes the heart reminisce of a time it was once in a love that was jumping at the bit to blossom. With its catchy kicks and incredibly clever lyrics, this song serves as the perfect opener! The metaphors used in this song create the imagery of two people who are clearly meant to fit together. Peanut butter and jelly, ketchup and mustard- a “July sky” and “a bottle rocket.” This song gets the heart up and running for the rest of the album.

Next, we are lead to a completely different sentiment in the song Champagne. Sultry and jazzy- this song is filled with class and the ambiance of a fittingly first-class crowd. With mentions of Jessica Biell, one can truly imagine the crystal beaded dresses and glasses of white whine. However, Ell always puts her own spin on it- and it is evident that Lindsay Ell is more of the type to wear her ripped jeans to a black tie attire event. We’re able to lovingly enjoy the “room full of VIPs” through Ell’s lense.

Next up is the song “Castle.” This song has an important message about greed, and delivers it accordingly. While Ell is a master of metaphors, she is also a master of matching music to her lyrics. While Ell sings “you forget what you can lose when you only see what you could gain,” the music behind her voice sketches out an upbeat lement. It is a wise, yet playful reminder that we must always remember what is already set out for us, and to never take it for granted.

The next song could possibly stirr up hope in even the most pessimistic listener! “Good” is a wholesome track that speaks of getting used to good through someone who finally treats you the way you’ve always wanted to be treated. It illustrates that comfort in finally finding a solid relationship! Happy, wholesome; something that every heart should feel- and Ell allows us all to feel it through this “good, good, good, good, good” song!

“Wildfire” is the next track in this album, and fittingly so. While the listener is happy to hear these catchy upbeat songs, and more light-hearted tunes, Wildfire strums out a hard, gritty guitar intro within the first ten seconds of the song. It shows the tigress within the musician, and the lyrics come to match. In this song, it is apparent that she wants to show her strength through her music- and through showing her strength, make us all fighters with her.

The track “Mint” follows this. It’s quite funky in it’s sound. Mint is a well picked title for this song. This song describes a love that isn’t necessarily brand-new, but is in “mint condition.” I enjoyed this song because it brings an important point to light. Too often nowadays, couples become stuck in butterflies and first kisses and are quick to jump ship once the newness wears off. With this fresh and crisp reiteration of mint condition, we are reminded that once the varnish wears off, love is truly there in its core.

“White noise” is a turn from the hopeful lovesongs we experienced previously, and quite marks a turn in the album. The song is slow rolling. Bluesy at best, it gives us the distant feeling of true longing- and it leads us directly into the song “Criminal.” Addicting, intense love which makes us reckless is what is portrayed on this track. With it’s almost rebellious sound to the song and Lyndsey Ell’s way with words, “Criminal” breaks out the album’s risky side.

Just another girl is a punky, “straight-up” song about not wanting to be a damsel in distress. Ell “doesn’t wear bitter well,” and her song and lyrics prove so! I particularly enjoy this song; why in the world would you get so caught up over something you’re going to be over with anyway? She is strong and independent in this song and breaks all of the traditions of heartbreak.

The next track is quite possibly the most serious song on the album. Space sounds and feels like you yourself are the one waiting on a distant lover; like you are cold and planets away from the one your heart longs for. The background music blends together, and the guitars gently weave a sailing sadness; it sounds dark and vast. Unkown, and unsure like the distance between a lover and the beloved- we are brought to the other side of the relationship when one is waiting on the other.

“Always kiss the girl”- AKA, How to date women 101. For any guy looking to figure out their lady, I recommend listening to this song. Go ahead, go listen. You’ll thank Lindsay Ell for giving you this lyrical cheat sheet to the heart of your significant other.

The last song, “Worth the Wait” wraps up the album with a slow and sure ballad of having to wait yet again, but this time for the real fruit of a relationship. Truly being in love, Ell believes, is about being able to see through all of the mess to the fine polished diamond in the center. She sings, “I guess that’s what you do when you believe, you hang on to something you can almost see…” And I agree with her. A reoccurring theme in this album is being able to stick it out, and waiting on the good to come. And truly, beauty does come with time patience.

The Project is a country hit- and true love in a CD case. Lindsay Ell paints us a raw and true description of love, not some far out fairy tale. We see longing and heartbreak. We also see the happy, new love and butterflies- however, we also see all of the in between.

1. Waiting on You
2. Champagne
3. Castle
4. Good
5. Wildfire
6. ‎Mint
7. ‎White Noise
8. ‎Criminal
9. ‎Space
10. ‎Always Kiss The Girl
11. ‎Worth The Wait

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