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Yola—'Walk Through Fire:' Album Review

Plenty of Power, Soul, and Love

By Luigi K.D.CruzPublished 5 years ago 3 min read

Yola's, a.k.a. Yolanda Quartey, roots can be traced back to London, UK, when she was sleeping and begging for food in the street; although, her passion for music never burned out. Her story is really enticing and really demonstrates why she’s meant to be a singer-songwriter. Years and years later, she debuts with LP Walk Through Fire, a traditional, soulful, and bluesy Americana that encapsulates her impressive powerhouse vocals and ability to tell her narrative. The album is not strictly traditional to country, yet it is definitely more “country” considering what’s out there nowadays. You should first read her story to fully enjoy the album. [Link Below]

The retro-country production is evident throughout the album that she collaborated with a bunch of Nashville producers. "It Ain’t Easier" is pure gold in this album, where she showcases her beautiful soul and confirms that loving someone or just loving, in general, is not a simple task to complete. "Love All Night (Work All Day)" is a hidden gem on the album, with a message to the world that living as a working-class person is not a shameful thing. It’s actually what most people encounter day to day. We wake up, get ready, go to work, come back home, and repeat. What’s wrong with it? It’s anthemic that reminds a bit of "Take It Easy" by the Eagles.

The production in “Deep Blue Dreams” really captures the lyrics and emotions that Yola induces. It’s just over two minutes, but the track embraces country sounds more than any other tracks. The first track of the album, "Faraway Look," takes a similar approach in terms of production, and Yola’s soaring vocals are prominent in the track, which is one of the highlights of this album. It is a tender and sweet track that adds richness to the album. "Ride Out in the Country" is a track that is very rich in instruments. The glorious guitar solos here are quite effective.

Yola gets personal in the track "Walk Through Fire," where she refers to an incident that took place years ago when her house burned down. It’s also about the loss and hopelessness that she had to face and overcome. This song is something that she could only write and deliver. It’s personal, and you would know that she’s gone through a hell of a road through this number.

There are some interesting love songs too. "Lonely The Night" is a soulful R&B influenced track where she shares this loneliness we all experienced after break-up. "One more night feels like eternity right now/Every passing minute pulls me down." I couldn’t agree more. The following track "Still Gone" almost sounds like one of the Motown hit singles. Its repetitive chorus really sticks in your mind. "Keep Me Here" is another beautiful R&B influenced ballad, which shows a different side of Yola as a songwriter.

The album progressively gets more country and bluesy, and more R&B oriented towards the end. It’s impressive how she managed to put those songs in one box and blend it really nice and smooth. The stand-out tracks are "It Ain’t Easier" and "Deep Blue Dream." Her vocals are at its best in the slower tracks, and they are so emotional and resonant.

"Walk Through Fire" might not be the most traditional example of the country genre/album; however, it is authentic, real, and honest. Yola’s effort really is highlighted, and she does not only deliver solidly crafted music here, but it’s also her story, voice, and songs about how she’s a strong woman and a fighter. You know, she’s strong when she can “walk” through fire.

RATING: 4 out 5

album reviews

About the Creator

Luigi K.D.Cruz

Hiya! I am a music composer, singer-songwriter. Just like anybody who is in love music, I listen to tons of music. I love travelling too! So I will be sharing my stories of music and reviews!

Instagram: luigi.kdc

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