Laura Cox has been blazing a trail on the French and European rock/blues scene over the past 11 years, but she has been largely undiscovered in the US. That should change soon, buoyed by her knockout new album “Head Above Water,” and a more impactful public relations campaign in the US. As the new album illustrates, her sound continues to mature, and her forays into diverse musical styles are more adventurous. At the same time, the album has a deep 70’s rock vibe that evokes memories of bands like Mountain. Cox modulates her vocals more on the album, which serves her well.
What can you say about the title track “Head Above Water”? It has it all the churning rhythm, impeccable dynamics, freewheeling solos, and evergreen motif. The song exemplifies the many talents of Cox and her band.
“One Big Mess” is one unrelenting, hard-driving, chugging rocker with sizzling guitar solos that seem more typical of Cox’s style over the years. Cox cranks up the heaviness on the album with “Fever,” a hard rock bruiser.
There are plenty of changes of pace on the album, which heighten the album’s appeal and resonance. In that regard, “Old Soul” really stands out. The song has a mystical and understated vibe with hints of the Doobie Brothers. “Before We Get Burned,” an acoustic shuffle, also marks an intriguing change of pace on the album, as does the liquid, contemplative “Glassy Day.”
“Head Above Water” is a great introduction to Laura Cox for those unfamiliar with her music and a superb follow-up to her previous albums.
Review by Michael Mascioni