Accomplished musician Andrea Hamilton is releasing her seventh studio album Hope and Struggle which is a concept LP that focuses around making the best out of bad situations. It’s catchy and fun, and while not entirely groundbreaking, it highlights Hamilton’s talents.
“Finally Free” is a delightful, sunny romp, a blissful song with sweet lyrics such as “I hear your heartbeat. It’s in the air with the butterflies.” Words like this could come off as saccharine in another musicians hands, but with Hamilton’s unique voice it works perfectly. The verses are stronger than the chorus, which has more of a peppy vibe, but it all comes together to form a great pop song. One of the tune’s strongest points is the layering of vocals which make the tune dynamic and sets it apart from other songs on the record. “Finally Free” is a breezy track that will make listeners grin from ear to ear. Hamilton wants to make her audience feel good and her mission is never more successful than here.
“Colors” comes near the end of the record and has a delightful focus on how colors shape a relationship. Emptiness can often leave one feeling colorless but when one meets the right person colors can suddenly appear. The song is a pure pop dream, Hamilton’s voice angelic with a hint of a smokiness to it. The instrumentation is light and airy which is a great background to the content of the tune. Soft, simple, and utterly pretty in tone, with vivid lyrics, what makes this particular track standout is the guest vocalist who not only sings with Hamilton in unison on the chorus , something one might not even notice on the first listen, but also has his own verse adding beauty to a tune that is already stunning.
The absolute highlight of the entire album is “Carry Me.” It still has a hopeful vibe, but there is much more weight and substance to this track. The percussion steady beat mimics the sound of a soldiers drum which fits right in with the theme of the singer wanting someone to carry her through the war she is experiencing, metaphorically. “I need a soldier strong enough to fight,” Hamilton croons, putting her heart and soul into the track. It’s emotional and heavy and comments on the nature of the world in its present state making the song real and gripping. Hamilton’s voice is sublime here, channeling a more somber mood and she has never sounded better. Midway through the tune the melody shifts completely and while it is not as strong as the first portion of the tune, it eventually finds its way back to what makes “Carry Me” work so well.
There are a few times the album stumbles, such as “Our Love” which is a bit uninspired, “You Bring to Mind” which has an awkward tempo change which nearly ruins the track, and “An Easy Life” which is too mainstream.
Otherwise Hamilton has crafted a wonderful record that will cure those dark days everybody has.