Kelsea Ballerini’s sophomore album, UnapologeticallyUnapologetically, is finally here and this one comes without a tweet from Taylor Swift, but support from some of Nashville’s most respected and successful songwriters in Nashville.
While Ballerini’s debut album, The First Time, was ultra-successful it’s easy to tell she’s grown leaps and bounds in her songwriting, musicality and life since its release in 2015. Ballerini is co-writer on all 11 tracks from Unapologetically and boasts one solo write (identical to The First Time).
While the first album was all about growing up, young love and the like, there’s much clearer direction this time around– life, loss and love. It’s a concept album in that its cohesive and not full of a country music singer trying to pump out at least six radio singles, which is a rarity.
7 Best Lyrical Turns on Kelsea Ballerini’s New Unapologetically Album:
1. “Graveyard” (with Shane McAnally and Forest Glen Whitehead)
Smart, simple and honest– no one wants to be a dash between two dates, but people are rarely able to say it like that.
‘Cause I was falling fast, now I’m just a dash between two dates…
And I don’t wanna be another heart in your graveyard
2. “Machine Heart” (with James Abrahart and Greg Wells)
A different look at a bad breakup when you’re the one that feels like you compromised parts of yourself because the other person couldn’t handle certain things. You train yourself and your heart to be a certain way until you can’t any longer, because, yep– hearts are machines.
I pushed and pulled it
I let you do it too
Like it was metal
Like it was bulletproof
I forgot to cry when I was sad
I forgot to fight when I was mad
I made the moves that others would approve
3. “In Between” (with McAnally and Jimmy Robbins)
A much, dare I say, better version of Britney Spears’ “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet A Woman”? But, Ballerini is more toeing the line between bonafide superstar and just a kid living out her dream.
I’m dumb enough to think I know it all
Smart enough to know I don’t
Young enough to think I’ll live forever
Old enough to know I won’t
4. “High School” (Ballerini)
Could be a continuation of Ballerini’s “Peter Pan,” because just like we all know one of those guys, we all know that guy that’s still living in his own little high school world.
Your heart just don’t get it and that’s why you can’t forget it
‘Cause you’re living like you’re seventeen
5. “End of The World” (with Hillary Lindsey and Lindsay Rimes)
This album is full of clever lines, but this tune might be my favorite because Ballerini is explaining that she thought her breakup was the end of the world and she explains that she met her future husband, Morgan Evans, at the end of the world. So, am I crazy for thinking this is a play on the fact that they actually met in Evans’ native Australia?
I thought the stars in the sky and in my eyes had lost their shine
But just like a lifeline right on time
I met you at the end of the world
6. “I Hate Love Songs” (with McAnally and Trevor Rosen)
This one has been my favorite since Ballerini started playing it live. It’s witty, simple and also a love song, but a real one.
We were drunk when we met so we don’t know our anniversary (whoops)
Oh, and I’m far too vain to kiss in the rain
The clouds, they aren’t numbered to nine
And you make me feel something, but it sure as hell ain’t butterflies
7. “Music” (with Jennifer Denmark, Nicolle Galyon and Robbins)
Kind of like what Taylor Swift started to do on 1989 with “Style,” this is Ballerini reminding everyone that she’s a grown-up and is a little bit sexy. But, you don’t have to be overtly sexy to be sexy. It’s actually probably sexier when you aren’t.
And now you’re walking in the room all kind of smooth, all like a violin
Everybody else is white noise
So talk to me, cause your voice
Is like music