Track by Track Review of Ward Thomas’ New Album ‘Restless Minds’

Ward Thomas are back! The record making British Country crossover duo consisting of twin sisters Catherine and Lizzy release their much anticipated third studio album ‘Restless Minds‘ next Friday (February 8th) via Sony/WTW Music.

The record follows their self released 2014 debut ‘From Where We Stand’ and major label debut and 2016 record breaking number 1 LP ‘Cartwheels’. The new album focuses on themes close to the 24-year-old Hampshire native’s hearts with songs about mental health, Social Media, and women’s rights. This is a coming of age LP that pushes the boundaries of the Country genre thanks to its many crossover styles.

Here we bring you a track by track review of ‘Restless Minds’ ahead of its official release next week:

The LP opens with the thought provoking ‘No Filter’ which is a track that has Country style lyrics and a huge Pop production. Lyrically it focuses on social media and the dangers of trying to live a filtered life thanks to a barrage of the “perfect lives” we constantly scroll past. This gives the record a great start and allows listeners to get a grasp on the themes running through ‘Restless Minds’.

Up next is ‘Lie Like Me‘ which is another track that focuses on the pit falls that we can all fall into at some point while using Social Media. With a powerful Pop crossover production and heartfelt lyrics about the dangers of constantly painting a perfect life via the online world elevate Ward Thomas to new levels. The opening line “It looks like Heaven, it feels like Hell” will strike a chord with the Millennial generation in particular.

The third track is the sensational ballad ‘One More Goodbye‘. This stunning Country rooted track brings the LP to a slower pace and really allows the girls’ stunning vocal harmonies to shine. This one is all about not wanting to have to say goodbye to somebody you know you’re going to miss. It’s is a major transitional moment on the record and one that shines a light on the standout songwriting abilities of the duo who are constantly breaking barriers with their sound.

Next up is the breathtakingly relatable ‘It’s Not Just Me‘. This is one of the most lyrically relatable tracks ever written for the Millennial generation with lyrics about dealing with anxiety and how it feels like to believe you’re not good enough. It also acts as a wonderful reminder that whoever you are these feelings are natural. With it’s toe-tapping beat and bouncy verses this adds another layer to the incredible album. Standout lines include “cause I’m sure of what I want but I don’t know what I need”

The fifth song on ‘Restless Minds’ is ‘Ain’t That Easy’  which is a beautiful slow-tempo track. The gentle opening allows the soft vocals of Catherine to really shine in her solo before the powerful tone of Lizzy joins in and lets the track build to a massive Country anthem about never giving up with poignant lyrics that empower the listeners and allows them the feeling that anything is possible. This is a major highlight of the album and will no doubt become a huge crowd pleaser when performed live.

‘Rather Be Breathing’ is next which brings ‘Restless Minds’ into exciting new territory with it’s anthemic Pop production and powerful Country lyrics. Think Shawn Mendes meets Carrie Underwood and you may get some idea of what to expect from this stadium ready anthem. This song showcases the hugely impressive musical growth Ward Thomas have undergone over the past several years and it is an incredible addition to an already crazily good album.

Hopeless‘ is the sixth song on this incredibly impressive record and it’s a gorgeous ballad that takes the UK duo back to their Country roots. With a toe-tapping guitar driven production and heartfelt lyrics it takes listeners back to the sound that put the twins on the map back in 2014, but has a fresh enough twist in it’s overall lyrical style to give it a 2019 vibe that fits perfectly on this body of work.

Next up is the empowering anthem ‘Never Know’ which is one of the purest Pop tracks on the LP, but thanks to its thought-provoking, unshackled lyrics this still manages to keep a light Country vibe. This is a track that you will be playing on a loop after anyone lets you down, whether that’s a partner, a boss, a friend, or a loved one. This is the track on the LP that is a real F-U moment and allows the listener to tap into their inner power and take back control.

At number eight is the simply stunning ‘Same Love‘ which is a total ear-worm of a track that shares a very similar vibe to Years and Years’ musical output. This is a song that will complete any future Ward Thomas live set. With its powerful lyric subject of making sure we all find a way to be unique while allowing others to live their own lives and learn to get along. The chorus will be stuck in your head for days and days.

Up next is ‘Changing‘ which is one of the purest Country songs on the album and it takes ‘Restless Minds’ into a mellower vibe and gives it another stylistic turn allowing for a fresh insight into the lyrical minds of Catherine and Lizzy. Once again the themes of the album are strong and it shines a light on how we often stress about things we have no control over and we sometimes believe we know it all in times of change. It’s a breathtaking addition to this record.

No Fooling Me‘ is next and this strips away all the production and is an out and out Country ballad that showcases the stunningly beautiful vocal harmonies of a duo who are in total control of their voices. This is a simply gorgeous song and it really showcases the girls’ wonderful songwriting skills and weaves together the first half of ‘Restless Minds’ to create an outstanding Country track.

At number 11 is the massive Folk/Country crossover anthem ‘I Believe In You‘. This was one of the first tracks penned for this project and it embodies the message of the record perfectly. Lyrically it’s all about supporting someone you love as they pursue their dreams while the production is a heart pounding, sing-a-long melody that will get you singing and dancing along in no time. The ear-worm pre-chorus “you’re on your way, yeah you’re” will be playing on a loop in you head for weeks.

Little Girl Sorrow‘ is next and this is a breathtakingly genius track that takes Ward Thomas to new heights thanks to its incredibly mature and insightful lyrics. This is a song you’d expect from a veteran artist so it’s hard to believe that a pair of 24-year-old’s have written this stunning, deep Country song that takes ‘Restless Minds’ down a new avenue. It’s a major highlight on a record that never stands still.

The penultimate track is ‘Deepest You’ which a power ballad that has a gorgeous string production and brings the album back to its Country roots thanks to its lyrical storytelling. Vocally Catherine and Lizzy are at their strongest and this shines a light on their insanely tight harmonies that make them sound like one voice. Once again the twins have reached deep into themselves and laid their souls bare for all to see which is a bravery that deserves to be applauded.

The ‘Restless Minds’ album comes to a close with the heartfelt ballad ‘This Too Will Pass‘ which was written about the sister’s close bond, and the need to grow and change as individuals. “Does the sun feel betrayed by the sky when it rains”  is the opening line and this gives an indication of how deep the girls are going with this one. This is a wonderful album closer as it brings together the sounds of all three Ward Thomas albums and also gives listeners hope that things will in fact get better in time.

Overall ‘Restless Minds’ is an album that brings together and marries the Country and Pop worlds beautifully. It never stands still musically and showcases the duo’s sensational vocal harmonies and outstanding, mature songwriting. While the themes running throughout the record are extremely timely and gives an insight into what it feels like to be a Millennial.

RATING: 5/5

Catch Ward Thomas live across the country throughout February, March and April as they tour the UK in support of Restless Minds. Tickets are on sale now.

Make sure you follow Ward Thomas on Twitter @wardthomasmusic to keep up to date with all their latest music and tour news.

Are you excited to hear ‘Restless Minds’ next week? Let us know your thoughts over on Twitter @CelebMix.

Written by Laura Klonowski

Qualified music journalist! Writing single/album/live reviews, feature articles, interviews, and news pieces.
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