Reviews

Album Review: Helene Greenwood Shows The Quiet World Of Motherhood

Being a mom is the most beautiful experience, in part. because it is the hardest. Mothers play the roles of first friend, spiritual guide, and “crisis-manager” for their children and even their spouses. When you have so many people dependent on you for spiritual uplift, it is easy to forget your own. For Helene Greenwood, Exquisitely Hopeless, is her musical reminder that to give love to others, you must have self-love, as well.

Exquisitely Hopeless is a gorgeous concept album. Set across one day it follows the story of one woman who lives in a confined domestic world and wonders what it would be like to live a freer life outside of her house. For Helene, “As a mother I have challenges looking after my family and use songs as a form of therapy to move beyond my own reality”. She took inspiration for the maternal lead of her concept album from the sci-fi film, Under The Skin, with some of the lyrics taken from the book by Michael Faber. “Like this character we can all feel trapped inside our own skin at times”, she explained. Exquisitely Hopeless is a play between the confined space and the freer external world that we all carry between our mind and soul.

Through mesh of classic pop and dreamy synths, Exquisitely Hopeless, appears exactly as Greenwood planned: you have entered the mind of a wife/ mother who lives for the love she gives, but wonders why she cannot feel its return. Often, we can be so eager to show our light, without questioning whether we are receiving it as well. It is in that notion that Exquisitely Hopeless swims in a pool of quiet emotionality. Helene’s voice is meek in delivery. There are moments like in “Ripples” or “Dream Horses”, where Helene’s vocals feel like whimpers caught in the wind. She sings as if Life was energy tossing her in its palm, which, in many ways, motherhood, career life, and general life seem to do. Her voice is in the higher, more wistful register which makes songs like “Crystal Vase” and “This Is the News Today” appear like the streamed visions a woman would feel walking to work, picking up her kids, or lying in bed wondering… just wondering.

The dreams we hold in our mind can be so powerful that they overtake us, which is what, lyrically, Exquisitely Hopeless wishes to exemplify. There is a beauty and sadness to the hold dreams have over us. Sometimes, they can motivate us like in Helene’s inspiriting cover of “I Say A Little Prayer” and, other times, they suffocate us like in “Chorale”. Exquisitely Hopeless is 11 tracks dedicated to our consistent bond, for better or worse, with our dreams. They turn of our daily life into an exquisite routine even when hopeless. This fact turns Exquisitely Hopeless into a sonic dreamscape that flows into your day. For More Information on Helene Greenwood and To Exquisitely Hopeless Click Here.