Esther Rose - 'How Many Times'

7/10

On her previous releases 'This Time Last Night' and 'You Made It This Far', New Orleans-based singer and songwriter Esther Rose found herself compared to numerous legends of the country music scene. With critics comparing her work to the likes of Hank Williams and Rilo Kiley, it felt like she was on her way to becoming one of the scene's more universally appreciated names. And after a few years to work on her personal and musical ambitions, she returns with her third full-length 'Howe Many Times', a record that conjures one of the genre's most cliched tropes; the break-up.

It has almost fallen into the realms of laughable stereotypes, but the idea of a country album inspired by the end of a relationship is just one of those things we will always hear on rotation. But rather than see her personal turmoil as a reason to project a self-indulgent dive into her own emotions and experiences, she has used 'How Many Times' as a chance to grow from it. Never playing the damsel in need of rescuing on here, she projects an aura of strength that shows us that while her relationship did end during the recording of the album, it hardly even registers as the sole influence as she looks to awaken from it, delivering a rousing and comfortable return to form.

From the start, 'How Many Times' looks to tread the line between country and conventional pop-rock intentions, giving it just enough of a lilt to interest the base, but ultimately give it a more widespread sound. She has this wonderful way about her that simply melts your heart, and creates this brilliantly soothing return in the process.

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