Author: Andrea Toledo

Rachel Platten sparks a wildfire in 2016

Building on the success of 2015, singer-songwriter Rachel Platten sparks a wildfire in 2016 with the release of her first major label on New Year’s Day. 

2015 was a big year for Platten

Maybe even her biggest yet. Thanks in large part to the reception of her hit single, “Fight Song,” it’s not difficult to understand why Platten made her mark on the music industry. The positive message and catchy melody made it an anthem for many and even appeared on Pretty Little Liars and The Biggest Loser in 2014.

Similarly, her first album is ablaze with tracks that are just as upbeat and enduring, sparking a ‘Wildfire’ in the hearts of fans everywhere.

Falling in love with PLatten’s WIldfire

Lyrically, Platten provides a vivid image of the story being told and brings her songs to life vocally through raw emotion and absolute vulnerability.

With the great mix of upbeat dance songs and beautiful ballads, this record entices you to play on repeat all day, everyday. Her duet with Andy Grammer, “Hey Hey Hallelujah,” is perfect to jam out to when doing chores around the house or when you need that great afternoon pick me up.

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Honestly, though it is difficult to select a favorite from the plethora of spirited songs featured, musically, “Superman” captures my attention and speaks to me the most for the stripped down style which beautifully spotlights the lyrics and Platten’s voice.

Though the central message of the song may resonate within each of us, I encourage listening to each selection on the album all the way through before declaring your own personal ballad for 2016.

Basically, Platten’s ‘Wildfire’ is white hot and I highly recommend it. Particularly if you’re already fans of Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson and Hailee Steinfield, the themes of self-empowerment and overall ass-kicking will strike a chord.

‘Wildfire’ reminds us as “Fight Song” did — you don’t have to do everything on your own, you have people in your life who are willing to help even when life gets tough, and that if you are able to remain true to yourself, your spirit too will soar and spark a wildfire in 2016.

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Reviewing Sara Bareilles’ “What’s Inside: Songs From Waitress”

When Sara Bareilles broke onto the scene back in 2007, her first single “Love Song” was a prime example of a compromise. Years after the release, she confessed that “Love Song” was written in response to her label’s rejection of her songs in hopes that she provide more mainstream, radio-friendly music. Over the years, Bareilles’ songs continued the trend of being pop-friendly.

Bareilles’ latest album, “What’s Inside: Songs from Waitress” is a slight departure from the music we are used to hearing from her. I’ll be honest, I’m not all too familiar with her entire discography. What I know of her works are based on those mainstream trendy singles played on the radio and stuck in your head for days. That’s why I was expecting a little more of that on this new album, but with a little twist.

Just from the title itself, I was expecting the tracks to flow like a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Definitely was not disappointed on that expectation.

“But I was not prepared for the Broadway feel present throughout the record.”

As I made my way from track to track, I could vividly see scenes unfolding in my mind. Certain tracks like “When He Sees Me” and “Never Ever Getting Rid Of Me” are traditional music theater sound and are also very lyrically so in the way that they put you into a character’s thought process. Others are similar to Bareilles’ previous singles, but with a twist. “I Didn’t Plan It” has a jazzy feel, while “Soft Place To Land” has a very ethereal vibe.

I was very curious about the change in style, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that Bareilles’ composed these songs for the stage musical adaptation of the 2007 indie film, Waitress, starring Keri Russell. Suddenly, the pieces fell into place; the title, the style, the lyrics.

I won’t say that I can hear any of these songs on the radio, but I enjoyed the album after I realized it’s true base. Fans of musical theater will definitely enjoy the album, but those with minimal exposure to Bareilles’ entire discography may not find it as appealing.

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