Kelsea Ballerini is set to release her sophomore album titled ‘Unapologetically’ on Friday 3rd November. Unapologetically has been in development for nearly two years. Kelsea has described the album as ‘honest’ and you can really feel this throughout the album. The album follows on the story from her successful major label debut ‘The First Time’ and she says that the album is a representation of “Loss, life and love.”
Kelsea Ballerini has an incredible skill of coupling the storytelling aspect of country music with impressive vocals, and a blend of country and pop that can challenge the most mainstream artists. The album beings with a tale of loss through ‘Graveyard.’ The opening lyric is immediately attention grabbing. “I don’t want to be no skeleton in your closest.” A heavily pop influenced song, Graveyard is the perfect song for those who have experienced loss. Its powerful lyrics are sure to resonate with even the most emotionally reserved individuals. Kelsea’s impressive trend of storytelling and country-pop continues with ‘Miss Me More’ the 4th single released from the album. A story of discovery and self-worth.
‘Get Over Yourself’ follows up with a tale of finally getting over a lover and their obsession with you after a breakup. Kelsea’s trend of incredibly relatable lyrics alongside a pop beat sprinkled with country influence is sure to set a trend for breakup songs. Following on from this is a song that Kelsea has been performing live for some time ‘Roses’. The cleverly produced song would make the perfect single. The honest lyrics and strong beat, with a sprinkle of country guitar, make you want to dance whilst also evoking some memories of past loves.
My personal favourite song on the album is ‘Machine Heart’. Kelsea’s honesty really shines through on this track. The powerful lyrics and Kelsea’s impressive vocals lead to a song that could be an anthem of many broken-hearted individuals. I’m amazed at Kelsea’s ability to create a story through her lyrics. You really get the feeling of a personal connection to her story whilst also being able to relate it to your own experience. Following on from this is ‘High School’ the 3rd single released in anticipation of the album. “You’re still living in the hallways” is one of the many lyrics displaying the exploration of the child-like mentality of some individuals. A country-pop anthem that many fans of Kelsea are already in love with.
‘End of the world’ and ‘I Hate Love Songs’ perfectly accompany Kelsea’s aim of writing about loss, life and love. By placing these songs towards the end of the album, you really begin to appreciate Kelsea’s story and how she has developed through her experience of loss and love over the past two years. End of the world’s soft guitar lulls you into an immense sense of calm and is the perfect song to relax to. I hate love songs perfectly describes the hate for exaggeration in love songs and how relationships don’t require massive displays of affection for someone to be in love with you.
The second single and title track of the album ‘Unapologetically’ follows I hate love songs. The upbeat pop-country crossover displays Kelsea’s deep emotions after finding love after loss. Lyrics such as “I’m unapologetically in love” displays her intense emotions and represents that she doesn’t regret her unrequited love.
‘Music’ is track 11 on the album. The track uses the analogy of music to describe the feeling of being in love. “So play it again my whole heart is listening” is the perfect representation of how music and love can go hand in hand and portrays the intense emotional and physical desires experience when you’re in love.
Last but by no means least is ‘Legends’. The first single released from the sophomore album, it is the perfect representation of Kelsea’s ability to create a story in lyrics from her experiences. It perfectly represents the country-pop style of the album and the honesty which Kelsea creates in her music.
Creating a second album that rivals an impressive debut is not easy feat, but one which Kelsea has achieved. The album is a perfect blend of country and pop that will perform well on radio and in the charts. This is definitely one of my favourite album releases this year and I am seriously impressed. Album rating – 4.8/5
Full Track Listing:
2)Miss Me More
3)Get Over Yourself
8)End Of the World
9)I hate Love Songs
Review written by Liam Lewis