Music Review //
flora cash
"Baby, It's Okay" //

When the pandemic hit in 2020, my first thought about being laid off and stuck inside my apartment was that now I would have time to catch up on things that I might have missed: music to listen to, movies I hadn't watched and series I could binge.  (I also read a lot of comic books in those first few months)  One of the series I binged was "Locke & Key" on Netflix because I had the comic book series quite a while back and always wanted to see the show just didn't have the time.  I like to save a lot of television watching (including movies) for winter time when I go outside less.  At the end of the one of the episodes, the song "You're Somebody Else" is being played and that made me go down the rabbithole of who the artist was and ultimately listening to this album a lot throughout the rest of the year.

"Baby, It's Okay" begins with the song "Born In The Slumber" which is this brooding anthem that includes melody and bass.   This is definitely mood music as it will set the tone for wherever it is played.   The lyrics of: "We were born in the slumber / nobody cared about us" set the tone for this album as well, as it can feel dark and hopeless through a lot of it- especially in the sound- but by the end I think the lyrics do eventually become hopeful and that you can go through this experience of feeling down when first starting it but after you get to the end you feel a little bit better or at least not as bad.

If you read any bio about Flora Cash it will tell you that they are the duo of Shpresa Lleshaj and Cole Randall.   One thing I found funny when searching for Flora Cash was a commonly asked question on Google was whether or not Flora Cash is the daughter of Johnny Cash.   While I know that isn't the case I like to think it does have some influence on how people hearing this music- like there is some Johnny Cash in here on some level.    But my point of them being a duo is that sometimes a song can have only one of them singing while other times they can both sing on the same song.   What I really like is on "Honey Go Home" how they sing the same verse but at different times.   They really push those boundaries when it comes to having two voices.

During the song "You Love Me" I am first reminded of the band Blue October, which is something I will hear at various points during this album.   There are some piano keys in here and deep synth waves on "Electricity", which is a song you must hear just to experience the way in which that titular word is pronounced as it really not only will make you rethink what you know about music but also what you know about language.   On "Honey Go Home" they both sing the line (at different times) "You know I love you but the truth is you were difficult" and I just feel that one.   I feel like the fact that they both sing it at different times is a representation that, yes, you can say it to someone else but they can also say it right back to you.

This album just hits me in a different way.   "I Wasted You" is a big anthem while "Missing Home" has those guitar notes like folk but there are also big pop explosions.   From what I can tell this album is mostly digital, but if it was released as a record I like to imagine that "In A Little Bubble" would be where the flip side would start.   On a side note, it also pains me that the best way for me to listen to this album is through Spotify but we make sacrifices for those we love.   The lyrics on "Still Alive" are inspiring.  The words: "I'm not gonna tell you it's okay / or to not complain / or that it's a phase / but you're not insane" are some of the most brutally honest when it comes to mental health and more people need to hear these because I feel like there are so many out there who could relate with this and channel it for the better.

"For A While" is stripped down acoustic and I really like that as it feels like a piece of the rest of these songs but now we're just hitting bare bones.   "You're Somebody Else" hides at the second to last spot which means either they didn't expect this to be the radio song which it became (yes, I've heard it on the radio) or they just want you to work to get to it, although with Spotify you sadly don't have to listen to ten other songs and you can skip right to it.  But if you just put on "You're Somebody Else" without listening to all of the weight of the ten songs which came before it then you're not really getting the true experience.  It's so much more meaningful and fulfilling to listen to this album from start to finish, especially up until the last song- "Love Is In The Small Things", which has those sad pianos.

As I've spent the better part of this year listening to "Baby, It's Okay" it didn't really hit me until the end of the year the type of impact that it has fully had on me.   For one thing, I do enjoy listening to this album more in the winter as it just feels more like something you'd put on in the cold than during the summer.   I did listen to it here and there throughout the warm months but it just didn't hit the same way.  It might take you some time to really get into this album as well but I just hope you don't wait forever.  


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