Wednesday, July 8, 2015
MP3 Review: Zella Day "Kicker" (Pinetop Records / Hollywood Records)
[$6.99 to Download // https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/kicker/id973575959]
Without listening to "Kicker" yourself, the entire way through, I feel it is hard to get an understanding of what Zella Day is about. The songs have pianos in them and they are pop at their best but they have a familiarity to them as well, which could be a little bit of Gwen Stefani but really doesn't directly rip off any single artist. A song such as "High" is a definite single and has some influences between pop and pop punk but isn't quite the same as Paramore. It actually is a lot closer to The Courtesans and has that sing along edge to it overall. There is some Taylor Swift (especially in the album structure) and Katy Perry in here and the vocals are just so wonderful.
A song like "Ace of Hearts" has a great hook in "We shouldn't have to try so hard" and "East of Eden" can bring out thoughts of Imagine Dragons. "Mustang Kids" is a definitive anthem and has rapper Baby E. on it which is a lot of fun. "The Outlaw Josey Whales" has singing like Polly Scattergood and big strings like AWOLNATION, while there are also horns for riding horses. Then we go into an acoustic ballad such as "Jameson" and I can begin to hear P!nk. So really the story within these songs is that every song is really its own story and has its own sort of sound to it, while yet it remains all tied together by Zella Day. Most of the best pop albums do this and I can't help but draw the comparisons to Taylor Swift's "1989", if only because I kept hearing her songs on the radio and thought they were all by Swift but they just sound so different still.
"Kicker" has managed to bring Zella Day into one of my favorite new artists and it's not so difficult for me to admit that I like her as much as someone like Taylor Swift so in that way she doesn't need to be a guilty pleasure or something you listen to in secret. Play this loud and play it proud. All of my favorite elements of music combine in here to form a damn fine pop album and Zella Day should be blowing up the radio but even if she never does this is still a true masterpiece. Other pop artists- and musicians in general- need to take notice that this is how it's done.