Tennessee native LOLO just released her debut LP, In Loving Memory of When I Gave a Shit (September 9 via Crush Music/Atlantic Records),but this probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard her. Most notably in pop culture, LOLO is featured on Panic! at the Disco’s hit track, “Miss Jackson,” and she even starred in the original Broadway production of Spring Awakening. LOLO, under her birth name Lauren Pritchard, released an LP in 2010 called Wasted in Jackson.
Along with her new name came a new, evolved and jolting sound. LOLO doesn’t care about rules or pretending to be someone she is not. What she does care about is her music, and you can tell how much of her soul she put into her new album. LOLO’s music is nostalgic and endearing, her raspy vocals digging into the lyrics without escape. Each song is invigorating in its own way, and inspires the reader to shed insecurities and, well, not give a shit. As the grand track ”The Devil’s Gone To Dinner” perfectly sums up, “I can’t ask you to forgive me/It’s not about the money.”
In Loving Memory of When I Gave a Shit mixes new and old material in a fairly cohesive manner. The album opens with a revamped version of a 2013 single, “Heard It From A Friend.” This time around a brooding baseline is added, which perfectly echoes the song’s purpose — confronting someone about cheating. LOLO sings,
I heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend
So when ya gonna tell me you fucked me over
Don’t you know that people watch
Don’t you know that people talk
So when you gonna tell me you don’t want me no more?
LOLO is definitely not someone to mess with. She has struggled and built herself back up, as many can relate. The song “Shine” is an ode to finding strength and never giving up. The song starts with a hush piano, almost like a lullaby, then builds up like someone reaching for a shining star dangling in the night sky—reaching for hope and courage when everything seems so dark.
Why are you waiting on the world for a favor
This is your life, go ahead and change it
You’re the brightest star in the sky
But no one’s gonna know if you never shine
Why are you waiting on someone else to give you things you want yourself
You’re the brightest star in the sky
So go ahead and shine, yeah, go and shine!
Watch: “Shine” – LOLO
Introducing this song and its accompanying video on her Facebook page, LOLO wrote, “I’ve lost a few very dear friends to suicide and I’ve always been burdened by the feeling that there was more that I could have done. This song is in honor of them, a tribute to how beautiful they were and how beautiful they still are to me. I can feel them shining and it makes me want to shine for them.”
Not only is the song “Shine” a beautiful tribute, but all of LOLO’s music is. To feel so much and express it so diligently, captivatingly, and honestly is one of the greatest things one can do.
Two standout songs “Not Gonna Let You Walk Away” and “I Don’t Wanna Have To Lie” were transferred to the album from LOLO’s 2015 EP, Comeback Queen. The plucks of the guitar and LOLO’s fervent, resigned voice seem to come from a completely different era.
Taking throwback to a whole new level is the track “No Time For Lonely.” Effectively placed in the middle of the album and as the climax, the song bounces and do-wops its way around the self-affirming lyrics. This song is a sure one to get listeners off their feet and feeling invincible.
Watch: “Not Gonna Let You Walk Away” – LOLO
In contrast, the last few songs on the album are more laidback and have a sound drawn on LOLO’s southern upbringing in Tennessee that was apparent in her early work under Lauren Pritchard. While not as outstanding and memorable as the beginning and middle of the album, these songs bring down the album to its conclusion in great way.
Despite some small flaws, as a debut album, In Loving Memory of When I Gave a Shit does a great job at showing off LOLO’s range – from bitter and angry, to full of life and cheer. LOLO has paved a unique and intriguing road for herself to travel down – we don’t know what will be next, but seeing everything else she has done, we can expect whatever it is to have heart, soul and passion.
From Lauren to LOLO, change and acceptance of who you are is important, which is reflected in lyrics, song choice and ordering of her debut album. Someone’s roots can never be removed — they only grow and spread out from there.