Review – Nancy Laberge

Album: When We Were Friends
Release Date: April 28, 2017
Genre: Acoustic/Roots/Country/Canadian

Nancy Laberge has just released her long-awaited sophomore album, When We Were Friends. This album marks the follow up to Laberge’s 2011 debut album Write From The Heart. Laberge recruited Juno and CCMA award winning Mike Little to guide her in the studio and produce her new sound. Well worth the six year wait, When We Were Friends shows off Laberge and having her sounding better than ever.

Blended with Laberge’s voice and roots infused musical elements,When We Were Friends is a strong testament to Laberge’s talent. Opening up the album with “Meant For You And Me,” you are instantly hooked and find yourself singing along; “do, do, do, do, do.” Laberge’s voice is captivating and her lyrics are engaging.

“For Loving You” keeps the momentum going as the album continues. With the classic tales of being hurt and accepting that is what we get “For Loving You.” It was one of my favorite tunes on the album. It was extremely relatable and there is a sexiness to the rhythm.

“This Is Gonna Hurt” changes the pace, but keeps the feelings going. Taking a moment to slow it down and pour out her heart, Laberge delivers a chilling vocal performance on “This Is Gonna Hurt.” With everything a little bit emotional, raspy, and strong you can hear pure heart on this track.

“Next Big Thing” was another one of my favorite tunes on this album. Poking fun at some of the biggest hits, “Next Big Thing” takes a comedic approach to some of the clichés that rip through music, and most importantly country music. Sometimes the songs we like don’t always have the most significant meaning, and “Next Big Thing” takes a light hearted jab at some major cliché country tunes.

The album’s title track “When We Were Friends” has all the feelings you’re looking for in a song. Most of us have all had that one childhood friend that we grew up and went through everything with. Eventually as life grows, people move, careers take us places, we all grow apart from someone at some point in our lives. “When We Were Friends” is a reminder of those kinds of relationships that shape our lives and sometimes fade away without reasoning. I loved the arrangement on this track. It was the perfect soundtrack to Laberge’s storyline lyrics.

Rounding out the album with “Too Good To Be True,” “Writing On The Wall,” “Your Broken Heart,” and “Feel Alive” Laberge keeps a well balanced mix of deep soulful tracks, and toe-tapping tunes. When We Were Friends firmly reestablishes Laberge as an important voice in Canadian roots music. Available though most major music retailers,When We Were Friends brings Laberge back into the music game with full fighting order.

Laberge is already scheduled to play a series of shows throughout the Calgary and Edmonton area. Check out her tour dates here.

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