Review: Kelsea Ballerini – The First Time

Kelsea Ballerini – The First Time
Black River Entertainment

1. XO
2. Peter Pan
3. Love Me Like You Mean It
4. Square Pegs
5. The First Time
6. Looking At Stars
7. Sirens
8. Secondhand Smoke
9. Dibs
10. Stilettos
11.Yeah Boy
12. Underage

Until earlier this week I had never heard of Kelsea Ballerini, a country pop star from Mascot, Tennessee but then why would I, Country isn’t really high on my genre listening list and isn’t a style that is really pushed or celebrated here in the UK like it is elsewhere in the world.

The first time I heard the name of the talented singer was also the first time I laid eyes on her whilst catching up on a backlog of The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon (Tuesday – Saturdays on E! here in the UK), a show that is a great source of music discovery in an otherwise comedy chat realm.

On the show Kelsea performed her latest offering “Yeah Boy” and I was instantly struct by what I was hearing and so like any good music lover would do I tracked down her album and gave it a listen.

“The First Time” is a solid first offering from the 23 year old and although she states that her biggest influence is Shania Twain I hear a lot of Taylor Swift’s earlier Country Pop stylings before going more commercial pop and slightly losing the unique edge that I felt the sound gave her but thats for another discussion.

I was surprised to see that “The First Time” was coming up on two years old and yet when you listen to this record right now in 2017 it sounds fresh and new like it was released more recently.

The only downfall I found with this album is the songs all follow pretty much the same style, format and pattern, I think a little more experimenting might have help the album from sounding a little similar throughout, however saying this I understand that this may just be a Country music thing but its not something I heard a lot of on Nashville or indeed on the shows soundtrack which is my main knowledge of Country music and whilst I’m mentioning Nashville, Kelsea’s “Sirens” sounds a lot like Juliette Barnes style song.

To close I would recommend giving “The First Time” a listen, especially if your a Taylor Swift fan. Don’t let the Country part of this album or artists scare you off there is a lot of pop styling in this record.

STANDOUT TRACKS: XO, Peter Pan, Love Me Like You Mean It, Sirens, Yeah Boy
RATING: 7/10


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