By Aaron Wagner
Lindsay Ell released her highly anticipated sophomore album heart theory this past weekend and in typical Lindsay fashion she poured her heart and stories out in each song.
On heart theory, Lindsay shares her own vulnerable stories of going through breakups, dealing with sexual assault, self-reflection, and moving on. The project has a very groovy soul sound to it, as her music often does with her playing guitar, but this album just seems to have even more of the groovy soul.
Lindsay wrote 11 of the 12 songs on heart theory so I wanted to go through each song and highlight my favorite lyrics, because I think it’s something Lindsay does so well. In addition to her own music, her songwriting is so strong that I think she deserves way more outside cuts.
It might look like breaking up is easier for me
But you can’t always believe what you see
I’m happy ’til it hits me
Putting on a brave face and smiling, doesn’t mean that someone isn’t still hurting from the breakup.
I’m a fall too far, too fast
I’m a hug that lets go last
I’m a heart with good intent
That’s still a complicated mess
Laying it all out on the line that she just wants to give it a try…or one more try.
“i don’t lovE you”
‘Cause I don’t do the things we did
‘Cause they’re not as good without someone to share them with
The one track that she didn’t write is gut-wrenching honest as she sings about not being in love but still missing someone.
“wAnt me back”
If I were you, I’d miss my kiss
I’d miss me keeping you up all night
If I were you, I know that losing me would make me lose my mind
You ain’t gonna find nobody like me
Written with Kane Brown, it’s a fun song that oozes with the appropriate amounts of confidence.
“get oveR you”
You said to move on and I did
Now it’s your turn to
Get over you
I’m making a guess that this song is directed at her former boyfriend Bobby Bones, even if she doesn’t explicitly say so. Sometimes breakups are amicable, but we end up clinging on too long to those amicable feelings.
I’m not gonna bend
Let you make the rules
And only do things that benefit you
An empowering song for someone when it comes to relationships and friendships.
“body language of a breakup”
Standing from a mile away
But when you’re in the middle
S’like you can’t see, can’t read it
Perspective can change the way we look at things, people, and relationships which Lindsay absolutely nails on the head in this song.
“good on you”
I told you to be happy
But I hate how happy looks so
Good on you
We say we want what’s best for the person, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting when they actually move on and are happy again.
“The oTHEr side”
Finally feel like that girl again
That I was before we met
But a little bit better than that
Getting through the breakup and finally feeling good. And maybe even better than before the relationship.
I wanna be your blue jeans that get better as they get old
I wanna be the last stretch of the black top back home
At the end of the day we just want that person that is more than just a casual hangout. We want special and Lindsay’s lyrics in this one are really clever.
And when you’re broken past the point
Of what a broken heart can take
The cracks’ll heal but you’ll always feel the break
And that’s what’s gonna make you
I could’ve put the entire song here because Lindsay’s strength to share her story through her lyrics and music is truly inspiring.
“ReadY to love”
But you make me want to try it
‘Cause what if we’re the right fit
There’s something in your eyes
That makes me feel like I’M
Ready to love again
After dealing with the feelings of anger, denial, and frustration, Lindsay appropriately closes the album with acceptance as she sings about making the next step and putting herself out there.
heart theory had Lindsay pouring out her feelings about dealing with a breakup in a way that was honest, authentic, and real. And that’s who Lindsay is as an artist. I think there are some great options on here for radio singles such as “get oveR you”, “gO to”, and “ReadY to love.” The level of radio success for the singles won’t determine whether or not this album is successful in my mind. The high level of songwriting and Lindsay’s vocals make this one of the more authentic albums of 2020.