One Track Mind: Paula Cole, “Life Goes On” from New Arrivals Vol. 5 (2014)

Paula Cole’s quietly determined “Life Goes On,” a highlight bonus track, closes out the New Arrivals Vol. 5 benefit album for Hurricane Sandy Relief.

As Cole and Co. sway through a touchingly circular chorus (“round and round and round, we go; the seasons melt away like snow … and life goes on”), the message of everything that came before hits home: We all must have the strength to go on, as life assuredly moves forward. But sometimes that strength comes from family, from community, from our country.

Sandy, like Katrina before it, was a storm that had implications well beyond damaged buildings. Families were changed, cities and towns, forever. Life, as Cole sings with such a steely grace, does indeed go on. But the difference between simply surviving and really living can come down to smallest of gestures in times of need.

To wit, 100 percent of the proceeds from this MPress Records collection — due on January 14, 2014 and also featuring Antigone Rising, Lucy Wainwright Roche, A Fragile Tomorrow and Lucius, among others — is going to benefit Hurricane Sandy relief charities. For more inforamtion, go to


Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has also explored music for publications like USA Today, Gannett News Service, All About Jazz and Popdose for nearly 30 years. Honored as newspaper columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section that was named Top 10 in the nation by the AP in 2006. Contact him at