Back in 2015, we were inspired by the first single “Fight Song” by this unknown singer Rachel Platten. It became one of the most popular songs of the year, until she released her second called “Stand By You” that at first, I didn’t like because I felt it sounded too much like the first one. Later on, I didn’t care anymore and ended up falling in love with enough to learn both of them word-for-word. In January of 2016 she released her second album Wildfire. I remember listening to the whole thing the day it came out, I just never got the chance to review it.
So when I saw this sucker pop up on the “New Music” tab on Spotify, I was both shocked and excited that Rachel had created a new album and it made me realize how much of a gap it has been, she was close to two years between them! This new album is called Waves and it was released the last full week of October, so the 27th was the album drop and I have already listened to it prior doing this review, but I made myself a commitment to actually publish a review this time around and that’s what I’m doing today!
How we start this, is with a song called “Perfect For You” and it seems like the sweetest song, as most of her music is directed to romance and heartbreak. It is very good, I like the dream-y introduction, but I think my favorite section is when the soul groove begins after choruses begins. The bass guitar gives it a nice beat to dance. I like how she’s this pop singer and everything, but I like how she tries to bring an urban feel to her music. It sets her apart from the rest of the pack. Second song is “Whole Heart” and it has this lullaby feel to it, I know what the instrument is that you can clearly hear at the beginning but I can’t think of what it’s called, so I’m sorry about that! I really like the subtle beat, it allows her pretty voice to shine. Next is “Collide” and for some odd reason, I had the worst time trying to spell that damn word! Anyways, this one goes is really good. It has a strong pop vibe to it. The lyrics are full of metaphors that deal with love and heartbreak, in a funny way kind of goes with the title too!
Fourth is “Keep Up” and this one is very sassy lyric wise, the beat is very fast and perfect to dance to! It has a 1960’s Disco feel to it when you get to the middle of the choruses. It kind of reminds me of something that Jennifer Lopez would release, but I actually like hearing Rachel’s voice instead! It could be one of my favorite songs on the album! The next song was the first song to be released in this album’s cycle, I can’t tell you when exactly I heard first, my guess is around May, but I could be wrong considering I had only heard it that one time! “Broken Glass” is such a good song, kind of the perfect first single to come out honestly. It’s hauntingly beautiful, but it has those pop elements that everybody likes. It’s catchy and has a positive vibe to it, plus it has enough beat to make it interesting!
Next is “Shivers” and this has a peppy vibe to it and you can dance to it pretty good. The lyrics are catchy but interestingly, it sounds unique too! I’m still shocked that she is cussing in this song though. It doesn’t have the explicit symbol on the right side of the track label on Spotify, but it’s only one world though so maybe that’s why! Seventh track is “Loose Ends” and when I first heard this song, I kind of liked it off the bat and I’m happy to say I still like it. Even though it does remind me of another song, so it doesn’t have that authentic sound I always look for, but I like it anyways! It’s also the first of three songs in a row that start with the letter “L”.
“Labels” is after and is it weird that I felt that she sounded like Camila Cambello at first? I seriously thought it was her when I listened to it a few days before. Rachel doesn’t have an accent, so that’s one of the biggest differences between them. I do like the song though, I just thought it’s a little dull. The next is my most popular song off the album and it’s called “Loveback” and again, you have this slow but urban beat that is apparently growing on me. I also love the meaning behind it though, for some odd reason I kind of thought of my dad while hearing the choruses. He would disagree with that statement, but he’d say anything to get away from the pop genre entirely! Next is “Hands” and this is such a sweet song! It almost makes you want to cry during the introduction. I’m thinking she wrote the song for her mother, and whoever is talking in the beginning has a special message to her and she repays her with this song. It’s beautiful!
The last three songs start with “Fooling You” and again, you have this dream-y and slow beat in the beginning before turning up the tempo and direction of the lyrics too. You can hear her tell the story in each song and I really enjoy getting inside of her heart and what she feels or felt to a certain person. It’s a magical moment. I feel like “Good Life” in ways should have been the last song of the album because it is the final upbeat song. It has a strong pop but has a gospel feel to it too. I think we can blame it on the choir in the background for that vibe popping in, but I do enjoy it! And finally we have “Grace” and I see why it’s the last because it has this perfect tone, and as much as I love ending something with a bang, I do love this too! You only hear a piano and her voice with a echo-y effect, so it’s very haunting. So I approve of it this time.
I’m actually still hearing some of her songs from that album on the radio every once in a while so obviously I didn’t plan that much attention to that first listen! I am glad that I held out to write one for this. I think I prefer this one than Wildfire. I came out with more favorites than the other, so that’s a plus!
So what do you think of Rachel Platten’s new album “Waves”? Do you have any favorites yet?