Roadhouse Album Review: Skylar Rogers looks at life “Among the Insanity”

Skylar Rogers — “Among the Insanity — Blue Heart Records

“Among the Insanity” is such a great name for a song, for an album, and for the thematic intensity that pervades this excellent musical session.

And it all works so well because it’s based on the vocal magic of Skylar Rogers on her third album, paired with the impressive emotional songwriting of Rogers and producer Terry Wilson on 12 new songs. In that vein, Rogers says that she “hopes the listener feels connected to the emotions that were put into these songs….”

The power of that emotional content begins with the opening cut, the sensuous “Love in the Left Lane,” as Rogers immediately takes charge with intense vocals and lyrics that define an independent woman’s perspective on love and life.

The pulsating “Among the Insanity” comes next, a hard-driving vocal on the R&B-laced philosophy of the broken relationship — “…ain’t no heroes here, we’re goin’ down in villainy….”

“One Last Kiss” is a beautifully sung, sadly gentle reminiscence of lost love. “Ride That Lightning” strikes with passion — “…ain’t no shelter from me baby, I’m as bad as they get…” Next, “Blame It On Rock & Roll” picks up the beat and rocks the lyric.

“When It’s Broken,” is a lyrical gem of romance over a lilting piano. “Step It Up” rocks hard again with a honky-tonk flavor and a tough message for a potential suitor. “Both Sides Of The Tale” means just what it says in life, and “Between Friends” is a soft lesson on a love triangle. “Femininity” proclaims a bluesy sensibility for its title, while the island-themed “The Water” provides an escape from all that’s gone before.

“Apology Not Accepted,” with just a stirring piano backing, is a fitting final dramatic statement of independence among the myriad insanities of life and love and the turmoil they bring.

The band that creates the framework here includes Bennett Salvay (keys), Billy Watts (guitar), Brannen Temple (percussion), Snuffy Walden (guitar), Darrell Leonard (horns), and Teresa James (background vocals).

This fine album is a life-affirming, soul-satisfying session rich with the imagery of life and love, powered by a sharp backing band, and brought to life by Rogers’ deeply soulful vocals. Her personal background, detailed in her bio, has brought this all into focus, but mainly, her music speaks eloquently for itself. An excellent album.

The title track, “Among the Insanity”:

Track List:

01. Love In The Left Lane
02. Among The Insanity
03. One Last Kiss
04. Ride That Lightning
05. Blame It On Rock & Roll
06. When It’s Broken
07. Step It Up
08. Both Sides Of The Tale
09. Between Friends
10. Femininity
11. The Water
12. Apology Not Accepted

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