Advance CD Review: Shantell Ogden’s “Better at Goodbye”

Retail Release Date: December 17, 2013

By Dave Carew / Photo by Christal Anderson

This album is about a search and yearning as wide as womanhood and as specific as the heart of one gifted songwriter—the search for deep, sustained, and sustaining love. In eight of the most emotionally genuine, finely-crafted songs released on any singer/songwriter album this year, Shantell Ogden explores the joys, shades, and shadows of love, taking us on a confessional journey of the heart that is as rich as it is poignant and open-eyed.

To be able to mine the depths and complexity of human love—and do so within the framework of songs that ring with melodicism and courageous vulnerability—is a gift rarely seen among songwriters, even the best and most famous. Yet it is a gift Shantell Ogden has come to embody in her writing. This album feels like one of those deep, rare conversations you can only have with those who know and love you best—those who tell you the truth about their journey in order to invite you to an even deeper level of love. In songs like the title track (“Better at Goodbye”), “The Lie I Tell Myself,” and “Where You’re Not,” Ms. Ogden paints the complex hues of love in a way that is inviting to the ear and stunning in its emotional honesty.

What sets this album apart is not only its elegant craftsmanship (Ms. Ogden teamed with producer John Willis and some of Nashville’s finest session musicians) but the spirit of its songs. There is a real courage necessary to create an album this open, honest, and vulnerable. John Lennon once wrote, “Love is . . . needing love.”  It’s in that spirit that this remarkable new album has come to be.  Highly recommended.

Shantell Ogden’s CD Release concert will be held at Douglas Corner Café on Saturday, November 16 at 6 p.m. The cover charge is $10, for which you’ll receive an advance copy of Better at Goodbye. The event will benefit local non-profit The Next Door and help women in crisis.

For more about Shantell Ogden, please visit:

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at and Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:

Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit (link below) and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.


Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew



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