Less than a minute into the riveting single “Fine” from Cleveland’s Taylor Lamborn it’s apparent that this is not an ordinary acoustic singer/songwriter track. It quickly becomes an emotionally-charged anthem that can’t let it go. In fact the words she can’t let it go are soon repeated, piercing the heart and leaving all eyes and ears on Lamborn’s massive, astounding vocals. She sings with the bellow of a blues legend but harnesses her harmonies in the way Melissa Etheridge has done with elegance. In the accompanying music video, an intimate single-camera view, Lamborn hones in on the song’s poignance.
The acoustic guitar ebbs and flows between a subtle, rumbling undercurrent, and murky or melancholy jarring arrangement. She can’t let it go, she can’t let it go, Lamborn wails as if she were reaching every last audience member in an arena. Her words and her emotion, as evidenced by her facial expression in the music video, is a part of her every being. She’s not just singing words from a page; this song and this story is her own. What’s the point in looking good when all she feels is bad, she sings. Disarming? Maybe a little bit. Sit awhile and the haunting beauty of the track carries a brighter torch. If ever there was a singer that could stop a crowded room of hecklers and noisy chatty Kathy’s in their tracks – it’s Lamborn. She commands your attention with her vibrant voice.
She’s so unhappy but she’s scared of change, Lamborn sings. This particular line struck me. We all have those moments where we get complacent, settled in our ways. How do we break out of it, and are we kidding ourselves thinking we’re happy if we’re really not. To me, that word ‘fine’ fits this line perfectly. Lamborn, who has that grit and Midwestern tough outer shell, reveals a bit more beauty each stanza she deploys. I’m reminded of the heart and the soul of Janis Joplin when I hear Lamborn. As grand and impressive as her voice is, there is also a strong, powerful beauty in the quietness between versus. She motions you into her world, and welcomes you.
In watching her performance in the music video, a setting that is presumably in a living room or den, the camera is set up in a way that feels close but not on top of her. I think the point of it all is that she’s put up walls in her life now. She’s secluded herself and retreating. The lights are on and she’s facing the day, but she’s not leaving the safety of her home. I might be thinking too deeply in that assessment. The music video, as modest as it is, does the song perfect justice. I think if she tried to be too dramatic and even had the video share the story from different actors, it wouldn’t have the same impact. Seeing her and being able to connect her voice with her movements elevated the entire listening experience.