Charlie Leavy’s new EP The Best Damn Ride is tight pop with a mixture of modern and classic sounds. It opens with “The Way Life Is” which is a call for caring and how love can save us instead of being caught up in materialism.

Speaking of love, “Tongue Tied” follows up quickly with a song about how it’s hard to talk to someone you have a crush on. Despite the title, Charlie’s words are proficient and smooth, although the point is that it’s harder to be smooth or even yourself when you like someone. “Summers Day Runaway” has a great Latin beat and interesting vocal melody. A paean about wanting to drive off with the one she loves, a poptimistic escape from the life problems mentioned in the first track. “Falter Baby” is a classic love song staple featuring the protagonist begging for unrequited love. She wants her love interest to falter in their refusal to let her know.

“Running My Mouth” at first seems thematically similar to “Tongue Tied” but is a different take. Instead of being frustrated at not feeling able to express her true love, this time it’s regret that perhaps her words have been taken out of context, or that she spoke too soon, hurting her love.

The last two songs are live acoustic cuts. “Why Are You Waiting” is a flip on “Falter Baby” where she’s playing the other role: someone trying to convince someone to slow down, to be free. “Wearing Your Kiss” is an example of being on cloud nine after a kiss, but not knowing what to feel about it.

Overall, the production is clean and Charlie sings with passion beyond her years. The music is tight and heart-felt. Her lyrical delivery is quick and clever, although personally I would like to see her branch out from love songs into other subjects as she matures. She does it well, however. You can tell she’s sincere and the songwriting is advanced for her age, so I think she’s going to go far.

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