CD Review – Kristen Ward “Last Night On Division”
When Seattle’s Kristen Ward declares “I wanna be something you love,” on the opening track of her new album Last Night On Division, she gives us more than just a love song, it is an anthem for struggling artists everywhere. With that simple statement she sums up the goal of everyone who has given their heart and soul and poured everything they’ve got into their craft as Ward has done on this album. It took three years and the help of her loyal fans for Ward and her partner in crime guitarist Gary Westlake to complete the new album. The initial tracks were recorded at Seattle famous Studio X by legendary rock producer Terry Date, and feature guest Mike McCready playing his signature razor edge guitar on the title track and more. The full bodied sound of the eleven tracks is just enough twang to be alt-country and just enough grunge to be alt-rock, all showcasing Ward’s powerful throaty alto. The songs speak of hope and dreams amid the struggles of life and no doubt mirror’s Ward’s own life of late as she grappled with the challenges of a music career while giving birth to a baby girl. On the throbbing ballad “Last Safe Place,” Ward extols the power of love, and in the galloping country rocker “Rodeo,” she sings about the strength of independent women who have inspired her. Spokane stands in for every home town in America as the album’s title track paints a grim picture of the economic downfall being played out in every state. Sometimes telling the truth is the bravest thing to do, thankfully we still have artists like Kristen Ward who are that brave.
Rick J Bowen