Wildfire by Rachel Platten: Album Review

Even though this American singer-songwriter has been in the biz for a few years now, her latest album Wild Fire is her first  really successful foray in the charts. Released on New Years Day, it’s already reached number ten on the Australian iTunes album chart, which is no surprise since the single Fight Song reached number one in Australia as well as the UK. The album also features another singer-songwriter from the US, Andy Grammer, who lends his voice to the track Hey Hey Hallelujah. 

From the very first song it’s clear that this singer is extremely talented. On the lyrics ‘I’ll be your eyes’ she sings an interval that is in no way easy to hit but she does. Flawlessly. As you would expect from the first few tracks of an album, there are some catchy snippets of music, like the chord progression in Stand By You and the melody in Hey Hey Hallelujah. I felt that Grammer’s voice in the second track was a great addition and complements Platten’s voice quite well. Speechless and Beating Me Up were a little too similar for my taste; however it did make sense to put them together in the track listing because of their similarity as it made for a smooth transition into the latter.

Fight Song is definitely the stand out track on this album. It’s anthemic chorus and simple piano part in the beginning give it that little bit extra to ensure it tops a few charts. Better Place and Astronaut were much more indie than the rest of her album and could be best described as cute. When I listened to them I honestly thought ‘these are the sort of songs that are in the movie Juno’. I didn’t particularly enjoy Lone Ranger because the melody in the chorus was written in such a way as to make the singer sound pitchy, even if they were actually hitting the notes.

The only songs on this album that had themes other than love were Angels in Chelsea and Superman. These really stood out for me. The former because it’s such a feel-good song with a great message and some interesting sampling at the very beginning and ending; and the latter because it addressed the issue of how society’s expectations of men have made them emotionally constipated. These songs also felt extremely honest, I’d definitely like to hear more of this sort of music from Platten.

Overall, this is a great pop album. None of the tracks were at all pop-industry-formula, instead being either honest, groovy or fun. I’ll certainly be adding quite a few of these songs to my January playlist! I give it 8/10.

P.S. Here’s her most recognisable single from the album, you’ve probably heard it on the radio (I know I have).


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