‘Subject to Change’ – Kelsea Ballerini Brings Lyrical Excellence to Her Latest studio Album

Subjec to Chain album art. A Blonde haired woman in a yellow dress swinging gracefully in front of a blue backdrop

Country-Pop superstar and 2 x Grammy nominated artist Kelsea Ballerini has today (23rd August) released her latest studio album ‘Subject to Change’ under her long-term label home – Black River Entertainment. The title is reflective of her journey through her 20’s and the personal contemplation and introspective in which she has experienced over the past two years. The title is indicative of the very personal nature of the album and is reflective of the experiences and internal conflict Ballerini has been party to since the release of her studio album ‘Kelsea’ and its counterpart ‘Ballerini’ in 2020.

The album contains an array of female collaborators including co-producer Alysa Vanderheym, ­co-writes with Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild, as well as an empowering and tongue in cheek collaboration with megastars Kelly Clarkson and Carly Pearce. Speaking of writing the album – Ballerini told Billboard that “I intentionally wanted to write with more women this time. For me, when you are making a record about emotions, when you connect with a woman creatively, you’re gonna be able to tap into that in a whole different way.”

The work is led heavily by excellently descriptive and intelligent songwriting. From a lyrical perspective, the album leans heavily into the classical descriptive ‘storybook’ lyrisicm often associated with traditional Country music. The tracks are cleverly interwoven with adjective laden verses which sandwich short and sweet choruses which contain some excellent quips such as “My head is yelling that I could get hurt – But I’m gonna jump right in – Baby, with my heart first.” (Heartfirst) and “You’re drunk, go home – If you’re trying to hook up – Gotta do it alone” (You’re Drunk Go Home). Lyrically, a standout track on the album is Ballerini’s solo write ‘Marilyn’. The track is incredibly haunting. It is filled with an air of vulnerability which is an exceptional achievement for a sole writer.

The work draws acoustic influence from across the spectrum of the Country genre leaning from the up-tempo traditional Country-Rock sounds of ‘You’re Drunk Go Home’, Contemporary Country in ‘Muscle Memory’ to the acoustic singer-songwriter tone of ‘Marilyn’. There is a something for fans of all genre groupings to enjoy. The influences of late 90’s and early 00’s popular Country is audible throughout, especially when comparing the work to that of Ballerini’s biggest influence Shania Twain. (‘I Can’t Help Myself is an excellent example of where it would be easy to mistake the track for an early 00’s Twain track.)

The is Ballerini’s best work to date with songwriting and lyricism which rivals the greatest lyricists of the present day (such as the infamous Taylor Swift). The honesty and grace presented throughout the piece is incredibly evident, leading to a highly personable album which is hauntingly beautiful.

Tracklist:

Subject To Change

The Little Things

I Can’t Help Myself

If You Go Down (I’m Goin’ Down Too)

Love Is A Cowboy

Muscle Memory

I Guess They Call It Fallin’

Weather

Universe

Walk In The Park

Heartfirst

You’re Drunk, Go Home

Doin’ My Best

Marilyn

What I Have

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