Nine years ago on the 19th, Taylor Swift released her first single to country radio, Tim McGraw. Today she's the only artist to have three albums go platinum in a week, her latest album 1989 has had the beginning opening week since 2002, and has broken countless other records. What's more than that, she's connected to a generation of young fans who she describes as "her longest relationship". And in honor her and Tim McGraw, I've decided to make a special post with my favorite 10 songs by her. And I'm not going to be calling her "Harry Styles' ex girlfriend" or anything like that.
I recently saw Lori McKenna in concert when she was promoting her latest album, Numbered Doors, and since I bought a signed copy of her album and talked to her, I figured I'd review her album on my blog. I've previously reviewed songs she's written with other artists on this blog, such as RaeLynn's God Made Girls and Caitlyn Smith's Everything to You and Grown Woman. She, Liz Rose and Hillary Lindsey make up a songwriting trio called the Love Junkies. Her own album is much less produced, but maintains the beautiful lyrics and music I've come to expect from songs co-written by her. Also, this album makes me cry. And it takes a lot to make me cry over music, for the record.
Caitlyn Smith is a well-established songwriter in the country music business, recording songs for artists such as Lady Antebellum, Danielle Bradbery, Lucy Hale and Cassadee Pope, as well as contributing to the soundtrack for the ABC drama Nashville. She's previously released independent EPs and albums, but her latest release, Everything to You, has rightfully been garnering much more attention.
I'd say that RaeLynn came to my attention like everyone else, on the Voice, but that would be a lie. I was looking at my Tumblr dashboard (which I have been wasting too much time on lately) and saw an upload of her single God Made Girls reblogged by Megan & Liz. Initially my response was hesitant, wondering if the song was a girl anthem or sexist, but I came to the conclusion that it was the first — albeit not the kind of girl anthem you'd see on popular radio in anywhere but the South. And I liked the song (the co-writers recruited are brilliant). So I was looking up her radio tours. And basically fell in love.
We had to wait entirely too long for her EP, but it's finally here.
This album is the follow up to Colbie Caillat's earlier release of the Gypsy Heart EP. (You can see my review of it here.) In this album, she's taken a very pop direction, working with people such as the producer Babyface, Toby Gad, Johan Carlsson (a member of the Sweedish alternative group Carolina Liar) and Max Martin (Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry). Surprisingly, there was also a cowrite with Liz Rose (cowriter of You Belong With Me and Tim McGraw by Taylor Swift) on the album, "Never Getting Over You". There are a few standouts on the second half of the album, namely "Land Called Far Away" and "Never Getting Over You". Other than that, the rest of the tracks are either decent but overly repetitive or just not good at all.
In general, I'd really only recommend four tracks on this album: Never Getting Over You, Land Called Far Away, Try and Never Gonna Let You Down. There are two tracks that are honestly to me not even worth a listen: Nice Guys (yup, we totally need more songs that are subtle-y misogynistic and guilt women into getting in relationships with guys who feel entitled to them) and Just Like That (way, way, way, way, way repetitive....see, that way got old fast!) Break Free, Bigger Love, and Floodgates are all worth a listen, but get a little boring.
Hopefully, the popularity of Try and the positive comments many reviewers are making about Never Getting Over You will make Colbie Caillat's label realize they made a big mistake pushing her towards pop. It's not that the album was so bad overall — it's just that she could've done so much better. 7/10.
About the Blog
Fountain Pen Girl Album Reviews is a blog writing track-by-track reviews of new popular and independent music with a focus on female artists. The main genres that are covered on this blog are pop, country, singer-songwriter and alternative music, focusing especially on independent artists and female country artists. Enjoy my blog!
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