And now we add another one to that list with Courtney Patton’s new album, So This Is Life, a twelve track collection from an incredibly talented woman.
I first heard of Patton when she appeared on her husband Jason Eady’s 2014 album Daylight/Dark, and So This is Life was my first experience listening to her as a solo artist, but I will definitely be exploring her previous offerings in the very near future.
“Her Next Move” is one of my favorite tracks on the album. This song is about a woman who tries to get her way by threatening to leave and take her child, but she secretly wonders what she’d really do if the relationship she’s in does not work. Eventually, the man in her life realizes the game she is playing and that she is never really going to leave. Patton’s vocal delivery on the song is beautiful.
“Need For Wanting” is another strong track about a woman who is simply looking to satisfy a need for the evening. In the song, the singer comments on how it’s so often thought that men will work a woman “until they get what they want or she leaves,” and that she will let him think that if he wants, but that he shouldn’t mistake her “need for wanting” tonight.”
“Twelve Days” and “Killing Time” both have a pure country sound. “Twelve Days” is about missing a husband who is on the road and waiting for his return and noting that as soon as she sees his headlights, everything will be alright again.
“Maybe It’s You” is possibly the weakest track on an otherwise near-perfect album. The song notes the simple things that make the singer happy, concluding to her lover “maybe it’s you.” Lyrically, it’s not overly original and it’s been done before. However, Patton’s vocals are strong enough to carry an otherwise ordinary song.
“So This Is Life,” the title track, is another one of my favorite tracks on the collection. It is song about a young housewife who is happy at first as a housewife and home-mother, but gradually grows dissatisfied with being nothing more than a housewife. Thematically it reminded me of Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her,” however, in Patton’s song, the woman only makes the choice to leave at the end and an implication is made of “new beginnings.” Where Carpenter’s song marked her protagonist as settling for a minim wage job, Patton’s song leaves her protagonist’s future open-ended.
Patton’s vocals are beautiful throughout the album, and musically, the album is just as strong. This is yet another example of the great music that is out there if we’re just willing to take the time to look for it.