Amanda Lynn - 'Rocket'
Review by Brandon Watts & Staff
Each song on "Rocket" is a gem that shines with expressive vocals, gritty and gutsy lyrics, and fine musicianship. Opening the 10-song album, is the
sound of swampy guitar and banjo on "Magnolia." Her vocals are electric and dynamic with a pleasing tinge of quick, wavy vibrato. Dripping with the thick soulfulness of Americana, Country-Rock, and Bluegrass, the song is about a woman who was "spun around" by life, but kept her grace. Amanda has the heart of a storyteller as she sings the tale of a sweet, hard-luck, woman named Magnolia.
Up next is the dynamic "Rocket." Simple piano arpeggios, lovely strings, and soft strumming guitar with minimal percussion set the stage for Amanda's earth-born vocal talent as she sings about what it feels like to be a young outsider in the midst of divorce and chaos. In this power ballad, Amanda showcases a softer, more emotional side of her voice. "Rocket" soars with an arrangement that moves from delicate phrases to a high energy ending bringing in layers of background vocals and laying into to a heavy drum beat. This song is for anyone who has ever wished they could fly away. "Freedom" is up next to take you on a rockin' journey that feels like a fantasy. The instrumental arrangement of the song evolves with each passing section ebbing and flowing creating a lush soundscape for Amanda tell her story. "Slaying the dragon" (our fears and demons) is the path of this free-spirit and confident song. Lyrically outstanding, "Freedom" rings a "Hallelujah" when the Dragon's ass is kicked. "He was coming at me man He shot me with a fiery blast I picked up my sword Faced my fear And I stayed that Dragon’s ass"
Bartender follows with a playful barroom introduction that moves into a country-western vibe transitioning from the bouncy, pinging, old-timey sound of the harpsichord to the clean strumming of acoustic guitar, pulsing kick drum, and layers of twangy fills. Amanda Lynn nails her performance with southern, velvet vocals. "‘Cause I like the way it feels when it takes over my brain. For just a little while I can’t feel a thing." Not afraid to sing about booze and the blues, Amanda Lynn is an artist who can get a little dirt under her nails for a great song.
Up next, you are soothed by the sound of melodic strings, emotive electric guitar phrases and droning chords. "Queen" explores worthiness and Amanda's vocals are heartfelt as she sings the honest lyrics: "I can’t be your queen I’ll never be what you need This cold cold heart It bathes in all my suffering Kingdoms ain’t for me I just burn em’ down I’m made of kerosene but you’re the truest love I’ve found So it’s hard turning down.. the crown" "Stay in the Magic" is a hit. The hook is very strong and stays with you long after you've heard it. It's a feel-good, uplifting song. "Inhale your peace. Exhale your grief." "Stay in the Magic" features some of the most beautiful melodic phrases on the album making it one to keep your ear out for.
The fun and sassy, "Pickup line" is right around the corner with clever and witty lyrics; this song is sure to be a radio and fan favorite. It's up-tempo feel puts an extra spark of energy into the album showcasing Amanda's talent in various styles.
"I can tell you where I've been all your life. Talking to your girlfriend who don’t know your wife."
"Music City" is a Country ballad about the dream of wanna be music stars in Nashville. With a Dolly Parton vibe, Amanda sings tenderly about a place that feels like both home and a stranger. It's a song about chasing the high of a dream and feeling the crash.
Next, Amanda kicks it up a notch with "Criminals", a song that lives on the edge. A catchy electric guitar motif opens the track before dissipating leaving room for Amanda's vocals to shine. "Criminals" is one of the more rhythmically playful songs on the album making it a unique track that truly stands.
Lastly, the gorgeous and spiritual, "Water Into Wine", ends the album with a song that ties everything together. Referring back to the Georgia Clay mentioned in the song "Rocket", "Water Into Wine" is a song about resiliency, strength, and believing in yourself.
Listened to in it's entirety, "Rocket" is a journey of self-discovery and self-worth, of strength and resiliency, of overcoming obstacles in life and in Music City. In "Rocket", Amanda Lynn has earned a Queen's crown for musical and lyrical authenticity.
About Amanda Lynn
Amanda Lynn was born in Cartersville, Georgia. And these were her early memories...
“I remember I would set up a stage in the back of my Dad’s Red 1980’s Chevrolet pickup. My audiences were my stuffed animals and baby dolls, all sorted carefully in lawn chairs to view the stage perfectly. I remember using a broom or a rake as a microphone. I would spend all day in my imagination.” From this young age, Amanda knew she had the gift (or burden) of writing songs. "I always felt like I had something to say and I was on a mission that most people around me would never understand, but I had to do it. Nothing else could ever fulfill me...And as much as I ran from writing songs, they would always seem to hunt me down and find me." Compared to a female version of Chris Stapleton with a dash of Dolly Parton, Tom Petty, and Sturgill Simpson; Amanda Lynn breaks the traditional mold with stories of her journey through the tiny towns of Southeast. With 2019 singles "Magnolia", "Criminals", and "Music City", Rocket, is sure to be her 2020 success story.