"Little Black Dress" kicks off the album in fine style and from there, the songs only continue to be the beautiful, heartbreaking stories that will linger long after being heard. Adding to the plaintive lyrics, Courtney's strong, distinct vocals are wrapped around understated instruments. Even the cover photo is thought-provoking, just a taste of the 12 gems contained inside.
"War Of Art" is a lovely shuffle written for Courtney's children and the struggles parents go through trying to chase their dreams yet stay grounded at home. Meanwhile the title track is about the singer's parents and their downward spiral into divorce. It's a heart-wrenching, punch-in-the-gut look at what many families endure in the face of crumbling relationships.
"Need For Wanting" is about the typical moves men make while trying to land a woman at the bar. However, the twist at the end of the night puts a spin on the tune one doesn't expect from the strength of the character throughout the song. The arrangements are lovely, framing the lyrics perfectly, "...You look like a lesson I learned long ago...and I know more than I care to say..." If there was a perfect modern country song, this would be it and it's one of my favorites here.
Another beautiful ballad is "Twelve Days," about the singer's husband (fellow musician Jason Eady) being on the road. A simple yet stunning love song weaving fiddle around the heartfelt lyrics, "...You should be in Salt Lake and Stanley by sundown...to you it's just another show and to me...another far off town..." The entire song is perfection and another favorite.
The closing track "But I Did" is an autobiographical song set to lush acoustics with raw, real yet inspiring lyrics, "...I was born a dreamer dead set on doing...shaking and a-moving far away from here...found freedom in a melody and the groove kept me grounded..." Perfect words for dreamers, this is another favorite and really touches the soul.
Front to back, "So This Is Life" is a roller coaster of emotions set to gorgeous pedal steel and fiddle. Courtney Patton is a brilliant songwriter and powerful vocalist who's music needs to be heard beyond the confines of Texas. Do your ears a favor and pick up a copy of this stellar record.
Buy the album here: http://www.lonestarmusic.com/CourtneyPatton or https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/so-this-is-life/id997536681