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Reviews

Kelsea Ballerini “SUBJECT TO CHANGE” Album Review

SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Kelsea Ballerini

    • Genre: Country
    • Date: 23 Sep, 2022
    • Content: Not-explicit
    • Region: USA
    • Track(s): 15
  • ℗ 2022 Black River Entertainment

The album “Subject to Change” was created amid the unexpected divorce from fellow country musician Morgan Evans. Although a divorce was announced in late August of this year, you will not be happy if you were hoping for any type of vivid, dramatic documentary. That’s not anything like this album.

“Subject to Change” is intriguing. On the one hand, it’s a real, unvarnished, and unflinching look at a woman growing up in the spotlight. It thoughtfully and insightfully examines identity, growth, and evolution, but it’s also a lot of fun at moments.

The more times you listen to this album and take in all the melodies, harmonies, and messages it contains, the better it will grow. Although “Subject to Change” appears to be straightforward and enjoyable, there are turbulent seas hidden deep below. We hope you have the stamina to swim the route with her.

Album Cover Art

Kelsea Ballerini &Quot;Subject To Change&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, December 9, 2022

Ballerini, in a free, flowing yellow gown is in motion like a person who is dancing with passion, completely lost in the rhythm. Her hair and gown are being swayed by the wind as she keeps pace with whatever sound she is moving to. She appears unbothered and euphoric, soaking up the energy of the moment.

Tracks and Features

Ballerini returns to the Country/Pop style of her debut album on a few of these songs. The LA Pop atmosphere with which Ballerini was experimenting on her last album is more reminiscent in “I Guess They Call it Fallin.” This Country song is well-written, melodic, simple, and appealing.

The title track, “Subject To Change,” is a fun, upbeat song with a serious message hidden beneath its catchy melody. The contrast between the two genres is fascinating. On a backdrop of Country/Pop instrumentation, Ballerini delivers quite strong lyrics about how erratic and emotional she can be. Similar to this, Ballerini sings about the crucial aspects of life in “The Little Things” with a sincere naivety that hasn’t been present since her debut album.

Another song on identity and expectations, “I Can’t Help Myself,” has a lovely Shania-meets-Swift sound, while “If You Go Down (I’m Goin Down Too)” features fantastic banjo work in addition to the fiddle. A straightforward song about friendship and loyalty, “Subject to Change” features Kelsea Ballerini channeling the Dixie Chicks and those strong women of the 1990s in true blue country glory, but the collaboration with Carly Pearce and Kelly Clarkson on “You’re Drunk, Go Home” is where ‘peak Country’ is attained.

The impish sister song to the title track, “Walk in the Park,” echoes the ingrained sentiments of Ballerini’s desire for change, evolution, and growth. “Love is a Cowboy” is a smooth mid-tempo metaphor song with Western plains overtones. Meanwhile, in the song “Weather,” Ballerini deviates into 80s pop with its “How did we go from summer to cold as ice?” inquiry. Along with some vintage Taylor Swift, “Heartfirst” also has an 80s feel. The Country and Pop worlds converge on this elegant, understated, and evocative piece, which is a great blend of all sides of Kelsea Ballerini.

“What I Have,” the album’s final track, is a straightforward acoustic song with references to “the pony show.” As Ballerini sings about the things that are most important to her, it seems to allude to the necessity for her to simplify her life. Another simple and clear but masterfully composed and powerful song to end this phase of her recording career.

Tracklist

NO

TITLE

ARTIST

TIME

1 SUBJECT TO CHANGE Kelsea Ballerini 2:59
2 THE LITTLE THINGS Kelsea Ballerini 2:57
3 I CAN’T HELP MYSELF Kelsea Ballerini 3:21
4 IF YOU GO DOWN (I’M GOIN’ DOWN TOO) Kelsea Ballerini 2:46
5 LOVE IS A COWBOY Kelsea Ballerini 2:43
6 MUSCLE MEMORY Kelsea Ballerini 3:31
7 I GUESS THEY CALL IT FALLIN’ Kelsea Ballerini 4:01
8 WEATHER Kelsea Ballerini 2:54
9 UNIVERSE Kelsea Ballerini 2:56
10 WALK IN THE PARK Kelsea Ballerini 3:20
11 HEARTFIRST Kelsea Ballerini 3:07
12 YOU’RE DRUNK, GO HOME Kelsea Ballerini, Kelly Clarkson & Carly Pearce 2:55
13 DOIN’ MY BEST Kelsea Ballerini 2:37
14 MARILYN Kelsea Ballerini 3:26
15 WHAT I HAVE Kelsea Ballerini 2:58

Album Theme

It seems more like “Subject to Change” is a thesis on identity, development, and evolution. It may be the tale of two individuals growing apart, but it’s also the story of an artist growing up in the spotlight and rejecting the expectations society, the industry, and her fans have placed on her shoulders. Furthermore, it is a ton of genuine fun!

Production Credits

Alysa Vanderheym, Jesse Frasure, Julian Bunetta & Shane McAnally were in charge of the album’s production.

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