Best Ex – With A Smile | Album Review

Track Listing

With A Smile
Tell Your Friends 
Give Me A Break 
Salt On Skin 
I Promise To Ruin Your Life 
Stay With Me 
Ruin Your Life 
Cut Me Out 
What The Hell 
Joyride (Glad You Found Me) 
The End


Singer/songwriter Mariel Loveland assesses love with a burning desire. Under the moniker, Best Ex, she issues out lyrics which showcase the way she feels at this moment. She feels drained and pessimistic, enforcing this sound and these words to tell us she’s cascading into a depression so frightening that she may think she’ll never get out of it.  

The songwriting is stellar here, and Loveland shows she has the lyrical chops to provoke responses. Even when she’s caught in the darkness, the singer proves her worth. The guitar work is a great base too, a pivotal foundation, and she plays the instrument with vigour. 

Loveland’s intention is to tell a story about the dark side of love, the undesirable places she’s been, and the world that weighs heavily on her. These songs properly depict moments when the singer is feeling anxious and despondent. When she closes herself away from the planet, she scorns.  

There are 12 songs here.’ Salt On Skin’ begins with sturdy guitar lines and Loveland sings with intent and slight rage. Love becomes assessed again; not for its fantasies, but for its dark side. It’s a well-written song, a track that balances hope with regret.  

‘Die For You’ deserves to be applauded for its poetic lines. Loveland sings confidently, and the themes here are drastic. That chorus bursts with intensity, and the song has this breakneck rush.  

‘What The Hell’ shows again the depression that Loveland is experiencing. The guitars are on point, and the lyrics portray a young girl on the ropes, swamped with debt letters while succumbing to isolation.  

Best Ex aka Mariel Loveland shows tight composure and well-developed lyrics on With A Smile. Her talent and bravery should be commended.  

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  • Verdict - 9/10

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