‘Through The Years’ By Lauren Jennifer review
Following on from her last release "Full Throttle", Lauren has released a new single 'Through The Years' on 7th July 2023.
"Through The Years is a journey through time. It's about looking back through your life and reflecting on what you've been through and being able to smile because of how far you've come and just how far you have yet to go."
Lauren goes on to tell me about the structure of the song and how it's written from different time frames, with the chorus representing the present moment; the bridge representing the future and the verses reflecting back on being 14, 21 & 26.
"It feels like I've basically put my life history in a song for the whole world to hear and as scary as that is I hope this song could serve as a reminder to someone going through a hard time in their life that things can get better in time. Through The Years is sad, vulnerable, happy, hopeful and a (fingers crossed!) catchy tune that Country and Americana fans alike will enjoy."
"Well I was just fourteen when I found my first love. An’ it was round that time that liquor first passed my sweet cherry lips. An’ I know it’s bad to say, but I gotta stay true. That whiskey tasted sweeter than any kiss that boy could give."
Lauren starts the first verse by charting her first love, or so it would seem, yet it appears this first love comes from the bottle. Within the verse she acknowledges how bad this is, whilst personifying the bottle and how "tasted sweeter than any kiss that boy could give."
"Tryin’ my best workin’ hard to heal, got a lust for life that before I couldn’t feel. Come so far but I’ve still got the best to come yeah. I’m falling in love, I’m falling in love, I’m falling love with life and myself, I’m falling in love, but I ain’t quite there yet."
The chorus, as Lauren mentions represents the present moment and shows how she's 'workin' hard to heal'. It reflects a very contemporary mood of self development, realising 'the lust for life that before I couldn't feel.' It also references looking to the future and being aware 'I've still got the best to come'; the notion of self development is continued through the chorus when Lauren details she's 'falling in love, I'm falling love with life and myself' and she acknowledges, as we all should know, that with self discovery and self development it never truly ends 'but I ain't quite there yet.'
"Now I’m 21 it’s time to self distruct, having liquor for my breakfast but I could never quite get enough. An’ I don’t mean to scare you, but I need to tell you the truth. The voices tell me I’m dying an’ I don’t know what to do."
Charting now another landmark birthday, Lauren documents a period when a battle with addiction has consumed her, yet the addiction here could be synonymous with becoming an adult, a sort of coming of age, and you're now overwhelmed having truly hit adulthood. The voices she references could be either externally such as doctors and family, or internally demonstrating the inner mental struggles we all deal with, our Jekyll and Hyde sides in a way. Like with any timeline, it always relates back to the present and the song is no different as it returns to the chorus.
"Now I’m 26, alone and we’ll that’s new. An’ it’s been four years since I have touched a single drop o’booze. But I’m still in pain, more than ever it’s true, is it in me to get better or is this a fight I’m born to lose."
This verse charts the recovery from alcohol addiction. As we grow and develop, we can feel alone as we start to tread new ground. Being alone is quite often deemed a negative feeling, but without the distractions of others you can truly tune into yourself and your needs; how long the journey takes is down to the individual, however some say we never stop growing and learning. Whilst many will think recovery is a healing process, it's not without the pain. It's a constant battle, questioning yourself 'is it in me to get better or is this a fight I'm born to lose.'
"I’m trying my best, working hard to heal. Got a lust for life that before I couldn’t feel, I’ve come so far but I’ve still got the best to come yeah...."
The chorus serves as yet another reminder that whilst we may have regrets, or dwell on past decisions, it only serves us to focus on the present moment; nothing is for granted. We build off of yesterday for a greater tomorrow.
"I’m in love with this life I’ve been given, an’ I’ve made peace with the body in which I walk through it. Took some highs and many a lows but I battled through it. Ain’t it funny, what time, can do?"
The bridge depicts a shift in mentality, loving and appreciating the moment and the body we're in. It may be a cliche, and a song title, but life really is a rollercoaster, especially when it comes to emotions. The bridge seems to be filled with another cliche, intended or otherwise, when 'Ain't it funny, what time, can do?' is referenced, in other words 'time is a great healer'.
"I’m falling in love, I’m falling in love, I’m falling love with life and myself, I’m falling in love but I ain’t quite there yet. I’m falling in love, I’m falling in love, I’m falling love with life and myself, I’m falling in love but I ain’t quite there yet
I’m falling in love, I’m falling in love, I’m falling in love with life and myself, I’m falling in love...but I ain’t fallen yet."
The song concludes in a very different tone than when the song began. The lyrics symbolise acceptance, of ourselves and the journey we've been on to the present moment, yet also looking forward as we're 'falling' which suggests it's an ongoing process. Even the last line acknowledges how it doesn't stop; conversely the 'fallen' could be reference to relapsing to old ways, although given the context of the song, I'm very much in favour of the former suggestion rather than the latter.
'Through The Years' was released 7th July 2023, meaning that you can download and stream it from your usual music platforms, and be sure to follow and support Lauren Jennifer on her social channels as well as in person at festivals and her open mic nights.