Jim Lauderdale – Hope

Jim Lauderdale - Hope



4.3/5 Pros

  • Great range of sounds and styles
  • Very good songwriting
  • A couple of catching songs

About a year ago, I praised Jim Lauderdale for his 33rd studio album, When Carolina Comes Home Again. You can’t name it a surprise that the active country singer-songwriter is back in the virtual record stores worldwide – his 34th album is called Hope and has been released on 30th July 2021.


Jim Lauderdale – About The Artist

Jim Lauderdale is a 1957-born North Carolina artist. I gave quite a lot of bio in my review of When Carolina Comes Home Again, so that I refer to this posting.


Jim Lauderdale – Hope – Track by Track

The thirteen track album lasts 45 minutes.

1. The Opportunity to Help Somebody Through It

Jim Lauderdale’s 2021 edition starts which a nice vibe and a lot of power. The Opportunity to Help Somebody Through It feels like a Lauderdale track for the dancefloor. Hard to imagine – but really a cool opener.

2. Sister Horizon

A very nice vibe again on the second track – this time, there is no pop touch, but therefore a stronger bluegrass and traditional sound style. Really nice listen!

3. The Brighter Side of Lonely

The Brighter Side of Lonely might not be that present at first sight, but the more I listened to this third track of the album, the more I loved it. Very dramatic and enjoyable to listen.

4. Mushrooms Are Growing After the Rain

Nice metaphor, ain’t it? I had to think about a colleague at work while listening to the song. He hates mushrooms of all kinds. If he would like the message of this song? Likely not – which is a shame. The dark, at most mid-tempo style of the song is definitely one of the most special recordings on Hope.

5. Memory

Memory is a lovely, but also very touching ballad.

I’m glad to live another day
Your memory helps to pave the way
Softens the pain that lives in you
As much as anything could do

A very central and memorable track on this album.

6. Breathe Real Slow

After this intense moment, a powerful track would just not fit and feel right – thus, I am really thankful to Lauderdale to add another slower track. This time, the verses almost feels like him telling a story to the listen. Breathe Real Slow is almost a bit of meditative.

7. Brave One

Jim Lauderdale surprises me at multiple points of the album. Brave One is one of these songs. Very atmospheric, very rocking, but also a bit of whiny.  The latter is not meant negatively in any way, I just enjoy how he is combining very different kinds of moods in one song.

8. Don’t You Dream Anymore?

I cannot name this song my favorite one – Memory is just too good. But Don’t You Dream Anymore? has a very special touch, which makes it very touching and memorable. Great track.

9. We Fade in We Fade Out

We Fade In We Fade Out is coming with a very dramatic mood again. Not on the top of my list, though. It is okay to me – or: other tracks in here are simply that much better. The guitar performance in the bridge is really cool, though.

10. It’s Almost More Than All the Joy

The tenth track is a very gentle one. Ballad feeling on Jim Lauderdale’s Hope, who does a beautiful performance on the microphone in this song.

11. Here’s to Hoping

Is this some sort of title track of the album? Not only due to the brass background sounds, the song spreads a touch of swing and a lot of energy. A song which makes me smile.

12. When Searching for Answers

The second half of the album has a couple of slower and more intimate moment. When Searching for Answers is a magic moment of the album. Very reduced sound, a bit of dramatic. Cool.

13. Joyful Noise

This song is indeed joyful – an uptempo country track with a traditional style and marching rhythm. Like a Wild West High Speed Train. At least in Jim Lauderdale’s world. Nice finish.


Jim Lauderdale – Hope – Spotify

Here is Hope on Spotify:


Jim Lauderdale – Hope – My View

When Carolina Comes Home Again barely missed the Top Pick! rating – Hope is just the small deciding notch better. Jim Lauderdale comes such a nice, wide spread of songs. Some of the tracks are really very positive listens to me – Hope is just very catchy and a great listen.


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