The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Music review-Storytelling, ballads show pop country diva’s heart

Linda Puga
campus editor

Photo courtesy Black River Records
Kelsea Ballerini releases third studio album on September 11. Her album features collaborations and a new form of storytelling.

Pop-country artist Kelsea Ballerini released her third studio album “kelsea” alongside a bonus album titled “ballerini” featuring the same 13 tracks with an acoustic twist. 

Ballerini took home the Academy of Country Music award for Top New Female Vocalist in 2015 after the release of her debut album and is the only female artist in country music to hit the No.1 spot with her first three singles. Her songwriting is stronger than ever as she has grown in her lyrical content over the last few years. 

The album “Kelsea” starts with “overshare,” a great opening song that highlights her storytelling. She writes in the second verse about a time she cried in the hallway outside of a bathroom and told every girl she saw to never date anyone whose name starts with the letter A because he’ll just break your heart. 

She continued the strong storytelling through the entirety of the album, letting listeners paint a picture of her life as they listen to her beautiful voice in falsetto. 

The production stayed consistent with focus on background vocals, guitar and drums, and occasional claps and violin instrumentation. 

The tracks “club” and “bragger” demonstrate exactly why ballerini is a pop-country artist and not just a country artist. They both include upbeat production that emphasizes the lyrics and Ballerini’s vibrant tone — songs to dance in your seat to. 

In addition to a collaboration with fellow country star Kenny Chesney, a track featuring Halsey titled “the other girl” describes a girl who finds out she’s not the only one entertaining her boyfriend, leaving her to wonder which of them he actually loves. 

Though it’s a collaboration people may not have expected coming into this album, it is one that worked really well. “homecoming queen?” is a beautiful depiction of the perfection everyone sees when looking at the school’s homecoming queen without realizing she’s just as broken as they are. She illustrates the comfort of showing who you truly are with the line “not everything pretty sparkles and shines and even the homecoming queen cries.” 

The concluding track to the project is a track titled “La.” This song eloquently expresses the way Ballerini feels about her home in the City of Angels compared to the warmth of her hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee. She talks about the good and the bad that make it a love-hate relationship. 

She showcases her vulnerability by opening up about things like insecurities, heartbreak, homesickness, her lifestyle and the way being a songwriter in country music has impacted her life. 

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