Ladies and gentlemen, her majesty, the queen of rock and roll has returned to reclaim her throne. For those wondering, that would be a reference to the one and only Lita Ford. She sounds as amazing as ever on her new record, “Living Like a Runaway.”
“Living Like a Runaway” is a rock solid listen from the straight forward album opener, ‘Branded’ to the softer, more emotional ‘Mother’ to the equally hard rocking album closer, ‘Song to Slit Your Wrist By.” The songs on the album come from an obviously personal standpoint, as they focus on both personal and romantic relationships. Ford proves yet again on this album that while she can still rock out with the best of them, she can also be very gentle and fragile. The balance of those sides makes “Living Like a Runaway” a success.
“Living Like a Runaway”‘s opener, ‘Branded’ gives listeners the first does of what’s to come as they take their musical journey with her. She sings about being in a relationship with a somewhat unstable man. She sings on this song, “I don’t wanna fight with you no more/I watched you put your fist through the wall/I don’t wanna hear you screamin’ my name/I’m so tired of playin’ this same old game.” It seems to hint that the man in question was abusive. The hard driving guitars in the song really emphasize the tension caused by said individual. However, she does note that while the relationship was seemingly abusive, she did get out of it. And just like other women who have been abused, they can escape too. So in its own right, this is an excellent opener to this album. It could also be argued that she echoes a similar vibe later on the song, ‘Mask.’
Ford writes in ‘Mask’ that a man with whom she had some form of relationship was the equivalent to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. She sings, “Take off your mask/and let me see what’s underneath/something from the past/It’s eating away at me/I’ve gotta see what’s really inside/I will never know/It’s one big surprise/you Jekyll and Hyde.” There’s no doubt about what she is writing here. As in the album’s opener, it comes across as her being in a relationship with a man who wasn’t exactly what he appeared to be. He was hiding things. So it would make sense that the two songs have some connectivity.
Lita Ford sings a lot about relationships on her new album. But what can be said of those songs is that they aren’t the standard “oh-woe-is-me” style. ‘Branded’ is a prime example of that. It’s an empowering piece. It’s not the only one, though. ‘Relentless’ is another wonderful, empowering piece. She sings about being put down and held down through her life and her career, but still facing it all with head held high. She sings in the song’s chorus, “I am relentless/like a freight train coming through the driving rain/relentless/like a fighter in the ring/I don’t feel pain/I am relentless/All you try to do is drive me insane/you’re never gonna keep me down/I am relentless!” If ever there was an arena anthem from this album, ‘Relentless’ is it, period. It has the hooks and the chorus that could easily make it one of many radio ready singles from the whole album.
For all the hard rocking moments from “Living LIke a Runaway”, Ford does include some softer moments, too as in the more emotional, ‘Mother.’ It comes across as something similar to a lullaby being sung to a child. She sings, ‘I am your mother/your flesh and blood/your family/and like no other/until they bury me six foot deep/no matter what the future holds/and even though you’ve just begun to grow/just know you’ll always have your mother.” The gentility in her voice and in the music make this a surprisingly impressive moment on the album. It’ll make for its own special moment for listeners whether at her live shows or listening to the album alone. It’s just one more part of what makes “Living Like a Runaway” one more great album for rock fans everywhere in 2012.
Lita will be touring this Summer in support of her new album. And she hasn’t left out fans in North Carolina. She’sll be making a stop at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Charlotte, North Carolina on Saturday, August 11th. Fans can keep up with all the latest tour dates and news from Lita Ford online at http://litafordonline.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/litaofficial, and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/litaford.
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