Better Late Than Never by CrushedVelvet has been in the works for many years. The artists admits it should have happened years ago. However, an independent musician who does rock and roll, while also being Black and a woman, knows what it takes to make it in the industry. The racism and sexism could not hold this legend back, and Better Late Than Never is here after all.
CrushedVelvet is a longtime performer with decades of playing on the streets, and the vibrant music scene of Boston, Massachusetts. More recently, she has been entertaining live audiences as the COVID pandemic has been robbing joys from our everyday lives. With the same passion and love coming to the high-spirited album, the artist has our ears perked up for this one.
Better Late Than Never EP
This project marks the first official album release from CrushedVelvet, and features four songs with a total runtime of fourteen minutes and fifteen seconds. The first track on the album is Release Me. This opening number is a soulful, RnB song with playful Rock instrumentation. Additionally, it sets the trend of powerful songwriting and melodic storytelling for the next few songs that follow. The song starts out with an optimistic four chord progression. What earmarks the artist’s musical sensibility is a jazzy instrument ensemble.
The next song on the album is Anthem, a moody song with a solid synth that gives it a nostalgic feeling. Furthermore, the track features heaving, Cher-like vocals from Jenner Barington-Ward. As the lyrics go, the song is very much a toast to the sublime, marked with eerily deepset vocalizations and a cryptic-feeling harmony. The song verbally expresses the ability to choose – specifically the choice to survive. And this is what makes it an anthem.
Following this one is the penultimate song on the album, If You Break Her Heart. The pure rock and roll song narrates a complex love connection from a third person point of view. The common order chord progression is completely thrown off with a strongly reverbed electric guitar that is dramatically charged and voltaic. All that aside, the most impressive feature of the song is its percussion. The beats are energetic and fast-paced, perfectly melting into the valleys of other instrumentation while also getting the listeners grooving.
Last but not least on the album is Torn Apart, and it is a great way to wrap up the album with VelvetCrush’s strapping vocals. The song stands out to me for its ability to stay true to rock, and combine it with potent storytelling. This is because the harmonic composition is made to work with the lyrics. To demonstrate, the verses give way to a heart-felt moment on the pre-chorus. Then, the chorus picks up the energy that the vulnerable words need to stay put together.
To conclude, CrushedVelvet has a powerful voice that leads the listeners with confidence and commands their attention. And her composition and songwriting skills have that very special sensation that only seasoned artists can offer. The underground and indie music scene has been unjustly unwelcoming and unkind to talented artists for its elitist adaptation. And to me, the album Better Late Than Never is a smack on their faces. The artist takes back her authority over herself; the result is an electric album that has you reeling all sorts of ways. Precisely that makes the album worth the long wait to me. Furthermore, it fills me with hope that CrushedVelvet is going to be blessing our playlists and ears again very soon!
Listen to CrushedVelvet – Better Late Than Never here: