Review: Hilary Scott “And Just”

Hilary Scott “And Just”

09 Mar, 2011 Heath Andrews

There are a lot of musical forces at work within Hilary Scott’s song, “And Just.”  Scott’s vocals have a country edge to them with a leaning towards folk rock as well, while the percussion track has an electronica sound and the rest of the arrangement takes heavily from modern pop/rock.  Amongst all the sound is a lyric that floats along both in its sound and subject matter.  In short, “And Just” is an accessible yet deep song with strong cross-genre appeal.

Scott begins her piece with a chugging, rumbling guitar riff on top of deeply resonating piano chords.  Her voice chimes in a few seconds later, soaring above the established tone.  The song throws itself onto a new level with a brief drum fill and Scott singing, “The city’s pushing me around/It’s making me feel like something used…” Her words are backed by the addition of an acoustic rhythm guitar and punctuated by the snarl of an electric lead.  As bleak as the song seems at this point, the light, electronic percussion moves at a quick pace.  Voice full of passion, Scott continues to sing, “Wanting to leave for what feels like forever/Now I wanna stay because of you” and brings some hope and happiness into the lyric, but there’s obviously conflict within the character of the song.

The tension in the verses is released during the first two lines of the chorus, “One sure way, to get through the day/breathe in, breathe out, and breathe in…”.  It’s a fantastic, true-to-life sentiment that fits perfectly in the context of the song.  What makes the chorus that much more powerful is her breathtakingly beautiful voice.  She sings with great power and emotion, but still hits each and every note with grace and finesse.

“And Just” continues to build slightly, adding a few more bursts of lead guitar, some additional drum fills, and vocal overdubs done by Scott.  Noticing these additions is easier in retrospect since the song has a hypnotic quality to it.  The combination of the serene vocals, darkly driving melody, and almost dance-like drum track, draws in the listener to the point where the lyrics almost fade away.  The “breathe in, breath out, and breathe in” of the chorus becomes a mantra to the listener, just as much as it likely becomes one to the character in the song.  Hilary Scott’s “And Just” is a masterpiece of a song with music and a message that breaks genres.

Review by Heath Andrews
Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5)