Lauren Strange releases her debut album The Solution. The Nashville artist has been on our radar for a few years now, beginning with the Salt EP way back in 2017. As mentioned in the Howlie EP feature, it’s always nice to see the artists you’ve grown along with still releasing music, and it’s great to see Lauren branching out into proper album releases now.

One thing I’ve come to expect from Lauren Strange over the years is straight up guitars, something that’s guaranteed on The Solution. The album sees Lauren open about her mental health, with the title track kicking things off with a big middle finger to those who offer generic solutions regardless of the individual. Sticking to the guarantee, the track features guitar riffs that tear apart the airwaves, colliding violently against the rhythm section to make one hell of a bold introduction.

The boldness sticks around as ‘Get Used To It’ follows with a similarly strong set of guitars. Its chorus descends into a glorious Pop Punk sound that sinks into the mind, becoming a real earworm that’ll live in your brain forever. ‘Good Swimmer’ also follows the Pop Punk tropes as it brings another gritty instrumental to the ears. It slows the pace down a little to draw the melodies out a little more, making for an impactful listen that also shakes up the energy of the record.

‘Xanax And Coffee’ offers a total change of pace, giving the acoustic guitar a chance to shine against open-hearted lyrics about anxiety and dealing with it. ‘I just wrote this song to calm me down’ Lauren sings against a sombre set of chords which is soon accompanied by wistful piano melodies. It’s beautiful and introduces us to a side of the record that eventually closes in with the ballad-like ‘The Solution – Reprise’.

With everybody claiming that Rock is dead, it’s nice to hear it sound so alive on The Solution. Lauren Strange does a brilliant job harnessing her 90s elements and bringing them into a modern light without completely stripping them of their identity. It is gritty, emotive and contains some of Lauren’s best songs to date.

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