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Kelsea Ballerini

Kelsea Ballerini

EP Review by Claire-Louise


Kelsea Ballerini is the latest pop-country artist to grace the country airwaves. Signed to one of Nashville’s premier independent labels, Black River Entertainment from the age of 19, now 21 years old Kelsey is set to drop her debut LP ‘The First Time’ on May 19th which will contain 12 tracks, including her debut single ‘Love Me Like You Mean It’ which was the #1 most added debut single by a female artist on country radio last year.

If you’re impatient and want a five track taster now head over to iTunes and other online music retailers to purchase her self-titled EP.

  • Love Me Like You Mean It
  • Yeah Boy
  • The First Time
  • Dibs
  • Looking At Stars

With a bro-country sounding intro ‘Love Me Like You Mean It’ almost could be mistaken for a Florida Georgia Line track, that is until you hear Ballerini’s beautiful tone. It’s a very straight talking song where she pleads with her lover to hold her like like she’s leaving and kiss her like they need her, or leave if they don’t. With it’s poppy production and country lyrics, it’s a sure addition to my Summer playlist.

The poppy production continues with the up-tempo ‘Yeah Boy’ a cheeky offering where a boy has caught her attention and she’s using this song to tell him so. Catchy enough but not a favourite of mine. We get a bittersweet touch to the EP with ‘The First Time’ which narrates a heartbreaking story of being let down over and over, waiting for a guy and them failing to show over a beautiful piano driven melody. She comes to her senses though (thankfully) singing “that’s why goodbye should mean goodbye the first time” – you get it. It’s worth mentioning that ‘The First Time’ was written solely by Kelsea, and is by far my favourite pick of the bunch. Contender for the next single please.

Now being British the next track, the simply titled ’Dibs’, threw me for a second. It was time to turn to Google. She actually gets pretty ruthless but in a cheeky way, stating that she’s “calling dibs” on a guy, basically saying she’s laying claim to him! It’s a lighthearted, catchy song that shouldn’t be taken too seriously. The final track follows suit, the dreamy sounding ‘Looking At Stars’ tells the tale of leaving town and going someplace secluded with your significant other, it plays out almost like a fantasy. It’s a nice finishing touch to the EP, and leaves me with high expectations for the album.

She kind of reminds me of as a cross between Taylor Swift and The Voice season 4 winner Danielle Bradberry, Granted her lyrics may not be as complex as some of Taylor’s past offerings but the typical teenage love and heartbreak theme is apparent throughout the EP. Ballerini’s sweet soft sounding vocal delivery reminds me a lot of Danielle

I may have been a little late to the party checking out her stuff but I’m glad I did. From listening to the EP I can predict the album will take a pretty similar path, with the same pop-country style, hardly surprising really considering her age. I suspect her label/management will want to try fill the void Taylor left, and Kelsea just may be the one to do that.


Annette Gibbons
Hi, I’m Annette, I have been a huge country music fan since the early 90s those were the days we were lucky enough to have CMT in the UK. I enjoy nothing more than listening to country music whilst having a cold beer (or a moonshine) with friends. I try to as many gigs as I can here in the UK and in the USA; I think of Nashville as my second home and I am lucky to have made some amazing friends in Tennessee. Think Country is something I am very proud of, I just want to share my love and passion of all things country music related with you all.
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