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Laurie Jones | Better Days

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Rock: Modern Rock Pop: Power Pop Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Better Days

by Laurie Jones

"The missing link between Dusty Springfield and Tom Petty"
Genre: Rock: Modern Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Better Days
3:42 $0.99
2. Coffee Shop
2:34 $0.99
3. Lullaby
3:39 $0.99
4. Joey
2:26 $0.99
5. Padlock
2:37 $0.99
6. Rebound
2:01 $0.99
7. Skeletons
2:41 $0.99
8. Where I Stand
4:07 $0.99
9. Under My Skin
3:00 $0.99
10. Raining in the Highlands
2:01 $0.99
11. X-Ray WOW
3:47 $0.99
12. Good Stuff
3:58 $0.99
13. Stilted
5:57 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

"Better Days" effortlessly straddles grandeur and the gutter. It is wild, optimistic, raucous and fun, a modern mix of melody, electronics, vintage guitar riffing...and the occasional tambourine.

From the majestic opener "Better Days" to the haunting confessional "Stilted," Jones and her cast of the usual -- and not-so-usual -- suspects deliver a widely varied collection of songs as stylistically diverse as the "White Album."

As one of the most intrepid women in rock'n'roll, Jones continues to pay tribute to everyone who has molded her writing and playing. From the Mick Taylor-like slide guitar of "Coffee Shop" to the rewiring of heavy synths in "Rebound" and "Under My Skin," Jones adds a bit of Pink to The Kinks. Her velvet vocals soar and her wit-pop lyrics prevail as she leads the new wave of New Wave.

"All my travels and opportunities for solitude have really paid off," says Jones. "The week in London in a tiny room and the winter days on the beach in San Diego allowed me to play my electric guitar and experiment with riffs. The time I spent in Halifax and Cape Breton Island also opened up my eyes and ears to a creative and vibrant world I never thought existed north of the 45th parallel."

"Raining In The Highlands," which was co-conspired by step dancer and friend Kelly MacArthur, describes love and life on the road in two high-spirited minutes. The track features fiddlers Steve Sporn and Colin Grant.

As pop's anti-bitch, Jones muscles on with "Joey, a rambunctious eulogy about a 20th century roustabout who upped the speed of rock'n'roll and encouraged all kids to sing and play guitar.

The musical touchstones continue to surprise as the band cow-punks their way through "Skeletons." Originally written as an emotionally charged folk ballad, its current incarnation is more of a swing-your-partner and stomp-your-feet power-polka-ska amalgamation.

An arsenal of Moogs sets the tone for "X-Ray Wow." Based on a 70s subterranean hit by "new rock pioneers" TV Toy, Jones pays homage to the Jersey rockers (as well as Brian Eno when he was still dressing like a woman), while making a sardonic commentary on the desperate world of indie rock. This glam-prog anthem - also inspired by the likes of Slade, The Sweet and Roxy Music - is a reckless way of Jones saying "thank you" for the 70s fashion and noise that shaped her developing brain while in utero.

The fun continues with "Padlock." Whimsical, ethereal and wishing it was Manson's "Beautiful People" or produced by Jimmy Page, this track is meaty, big and bouncy. "It's about being scared shitless and not being able to get your locker open at school."

"'Where I Stand' is the lonely, underproduced song, the runt of the litter," Jones continues. "It is a straight-ahead love song about a couple growing old together, tending their garden season after season, year after year. The classic life and love metaphor set to song."

What's left? "When we played small clubs three nights a week, the owners wanted us to keep the crowd dancing, drinking and seeking sex," Jones says with a grin. "We found ourselves inventing a set of songs to encourage all that. 'Good Stuff' was one of them, a dance club improvisation inspired by drunken dancefloor foreplay. It is our white soul, 'get the Led out,' funked-up booty shaker."

The disc also includes the bonus video, "Wide Awake," one of the most popular tracks from Laurie's previous CD, "After The Crash."



to write a review

Goldmine Magazine - March 2004

Laurie Jones' edgy, fully fueled approach shows a strong commitment to a basic r
Better Days sounds so unerringly familiar it's not so much a case of deja vu as deja who? Practically chameleon-like in the way it shifts styles -- some new wave here, a Celtic flourish there -- the album is bound together by its propulsive rhythms and sassy sentiments.
Indeed, Laurie Jones' edgy, fully fueled approach shows a strong commitment to a basic rock 'n' roll regimen. Ultimately, she comes across as the missing link between the unbridled angst of, say, Alanis Morrisette and the bitchy dominatrix persona of Pat Benatar, with Joan Jett's snotty, middle-fingered attitude tossed in for good measure. That tenacity is reflected in songs such as "Joey," a paen to the gangly rock god who led the Ramones to punk glory. It's also evident in "X-Ray Wow" which nicks a sound bite from Roxy Music and finds Jones going glam. "Good Stuff" chews on a few retro references. Listen closely; you'll hear hints of "Sunshine Of Your Love" subverting the melody. Better Days makes a strong statement, but the similarities to earlier icons suggest Jones should rely less on influences and more on her instincts. For the moment, Better Days suggests she's glancing backward; given some retooling, her best days may still lie ahead.

Maine Games

I'm looking forward to having Laurie Jones perform live at the Opening Ceremonie
Laurie Jones will be performing L I V E at the Opening Ceremonies for the 2004 Maine Games at Hadlock Field, in Portland, Maine.

S. Pean

I do not have the CD yet, however I was at your live show at the Grand Auditorium in Ellsworth Maine.

Your new material is amazing!

Indie-Music.com Brad Wilson

"Wild, optimistic, raucous and fun."
Rockers are not just guys. There are a lot of great female rock 'n rollers, for example, Chrissy Hynde, Joan Jett, Grace Slick. These women are important to the music business for a lot of reasons, but mainly they balance the scales and show that girls can rock hard too. Laurie Jones could be in the Donnas or any other rock 'n roll touring band. She's got the guitar chops, voice with attitude, and most important, songs that can bring an audience to their feet and into high gear.

Better Days is her new record. This thirteen song collection of her music is well produced and comes with a bonus video on the disc. The packaging is simple but complete, with credits to the musicians, co-writers and photogragher in large clear print, which says what this record is, a solo artist at work, but the music has a band sound.

Laurie Jones performs as a singer/guitar player with a rock distortion tone on her amp that can hold her own with the boys in the band. The songwriting on the album is more towards pop rock with an ear for singles, maybe like Joan Jett. This only helps to make the songs more memorable and opens up the possibility of radio airplay. The guitar work is more hooky power chords than lead riffing.

The record opens with the title track, capturing the feel of the whole CD, with solid production and a full sound that is ready for the radio. I agree with her; it is wild, optimistic, raucous and fun.

Rockers tend to be independent, and Jones is that with her ability to turn to her travels for song inspiration. On "Raining in the Highlands," she descibes her visit to Halifax and Cape Benton in song form, joined on the track by fiddle superstar Colin Grant. It's traditional, but it rocks with shredding, spirited fiddle playing.

"Good Stuff" is danceable, like many of these songs, but Laurie puts her rock feel on the track with her strong distorted power guitar riffs. When a pro musician works the clubs, it makes for a better player and someone more at ease with conveying that feeling of rockin' the house. The furious paced "Joey," a la Ramones, is high energy and all attitude. I like a lot of the spirit on this record for that reason.

"Coffee Shop" is a hit song with red-hot slide guitar and totally pro vocals from Laurie. With the sound of a Pretenders single, it points out the production of this rockin' pop record as very British sounding at times. One of the other songs that really captures the feel of this artist is "Stilted," with electric guitar accompanying a strong vocal performance. Lyrically, Jones asks, "are you listening?" and says "life is about choices".

Laurie Jones does not seem shy, and on this album, she shows off her talent. This is a rock 'n roll record that is a good choice, and we are listening.

Lucky Clark

serious to sassy
is a self-proclaimed “chick rocker” who is “the missing link between Dusty Springfield and the Cars,” and the thirteen tracks of “Better Days” run the gamut between pop rock, singer-songwriter and New Wave genres. Jones’ has got a great voice that can switch from serious to sassy in a heartbeat while her musical melodies offer a rather impressive variety of styles (best illustrated by the juxtepostioning of a Celtic ditty (“Raining in the Highlands”) with a flat-out rocker (“X-ray Wow”)…one could get a good case of whiplash trying to follow the twists and surprise turns on “Better Days”!

Face Magazine

Confessional rock with a nod to New Wave...
Face Magazine Dec 2003

BAND: Laurie Jones
ALBUM: Better Days
SOUND: Confessional rock with a nod to New Wave.
CARDS ON THE TABLE: I was ripe for the sound of Better Days.
Over the past
year, I've been digging on those crisp sweet sounds of
sophisto-rock (I might as well have the sheet music to Joy Division's "Love
Will Tear Us Apart" tattooed on my ass) and Better Days
generously ices Jones' cake with such stuff.

MY TAKE: Though I wanted some of the genre dives to go deeper, Igenerally liked and sometimes loved the content of Better Days. Jones told me that
among other qualities of her work, she's proud of her
songwriting efficiency. I agree and I'll use the album's title track to illustrate Jones' skills in writing pieces that are catchy yet have enough thoughtful touches to make them multi-dimensional: Things roll along on "Better Days" in a predictable pattern until the ending of the first chorus morphs unexpectedly into a great Pretendersish riff which sends us into the second
verse. Neat. The second chorous comes along reliably but this time it has backing vocals and synth layered on and the lyrics are cleverly altered.
Then, instead of going into the third verse, the chorus bends into whole new turf. Cool, cool, cool.
Jones also tells me that her work openly wears many influences and moods. I agree, but in this case, I also wanted more.
Many of the songs start with a unique hook, instrument or effect but this opening is often
treated more like a pop-up sample than a part of the song's weave.
The violin jig that starts "Raining In the Highlands" really surprised me but the rock it gave way to didn't.
The opening of "Joey" promises to kick me
around royally with Jones lashing out: "Uh, mister, excuse me, I was normal in the '80s!" but the rest of the song only rocks out mildly by comparison.
I didn't want these openings to just decorate the main melodies. I wanted them and the melodies to play off each other and to the breaking point.
When the attitude and the style choices really take hold of the song, the results are exhilerating. "Rebound"'s funk is as fresh and chilly as the soaring disco it gives way to and the chorus fuses the two beautifully. The childlike la-la's that appear on "Lulabye" take
over the song's ending similarly to the na-na's on "Hey Jude." And like McCartney's wailing on that song, Jones' punching, soulful vocal declarations climb on
top of those la-la's, reach right up into heaven and give God a good playful spanking.

Andy Fuertsch

Laurie is destined for Better Days with this one. Great songs!
The song Coffee Shop gave me goosebumps the first time I heard it. It still does. What that slide guitar and vocals do to me is unreal. It's one of those songs you can't hear just once. I really love the opening track, Better Days. What great lyrics! I had a chance to listen more to the song Under My Skin and applaud you once more. This CD is so full of great material and Laurie is destined for Better Days with this one.


Coffee Shop Rocks!
I heard Coffee Shop on the radio this morning... WKIT, Bangor Maine. This lady Rocks!

Bangor Daily News

Keeping Up With Jones!
On her new CD, Jones' song spectrum is as diverse as the Beatles' "White Album." Soaring vocals and witty lyrics ride atop glam-progressive rock-anthem hooks and even fiddle-driven Celtic punk. Jones has a chiming, spine-tingling timbre when she hits the sweet spot in her vocal register, which she does effortlessly even in live performance

Laurence Rizzio

I love Laurie and Steve. Laurence Rizzio
I love Laurie and Steve. I love their CD. I love their new addition to their house. Laurence.
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