REVIEW: Hope Arden — “Meant for Life” (SINGLE)
“Meant For Life” is the devilishly good pop/pop electronica single from Hope Arden. The mysterious, oozing beat flowing into a melodic peninsula, all the while Arden’s sultry vocals slither their way around the song. Wrapping itself even tighter, like a boa constrictor, Arden’s lyrics leave a lasting, dramatic impression. “Meant For Life” is modern sounding and a great chance to kick off your summer with something seductive and fiery. Dare to dream, Arden sings, and what a world she’s dreamt up in the uber fun “Meant For Life”.
Arden grew up on a farm in Vancouver, Washington, with eight brothers and sisters. Her penchant for creating stories and penning songs that might be just a tad askew serves her well in “Meant For Life”. The basis for the song comes from observing her classmates’ teen idol phases. Not a bad word could be spoken about the crush, with their impassioned belief that their dreams would come true and have a relationship with the celebrity. The idea of a dream and aspiring plays itself out in the music. It resonates in the mix of modern electronica and effervescent beats.
She sings with both the intoxication of love and someone with a sure-as-day focus. There’s an element of possessiveness in her voice, as well as genuine vulnerability. I immediately felt like this sound would be a great addition to a coming of age movie to TV soundtrack. She’s coming from the perspective of a strong female lead, a young woman that has her life planned out. In many ways, that’s to be admired. On the flip side of things, there’s elements that make me think that she’s singing from the perspective of a villain or heel character. We were meant for life has a certain aura of captivation that gives the listener an eerie vibe.
During different measures of the song, she loops her voice over her own vocals. I loved how this because it reminded me of being in love and you sometimes have the needle stuck on the same memories. We want to replay those over and over. I think the way she overlapped her vocals reminded me of that — an echo of the voices in your head urging you to go for it, push boundaries. The way she arranges the backing vocals, it’s like a chilling choir. It stands out, and I think if she didn’t include this mixing, it might have a completely different emotional impact from the song.
I think we all bring baggage into a relationship and impose expectations on the other person. It’s human nature. “Meant For Life” might sound devious to some, whereas others will find nothing but a joyful pop song with a killer rhythm section. Rest assured, Arden is an exciting new artist and where she might find her own imagination ‘off-kilter’ as she describes in her press materials, she easily connects with her listeners on a broad level. I have her on my ‘one to watch list’ and can only imagine her evolving her sound and slick lyrics even more.