by Kelsea BalleriniKelsea Ballerini


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Unapologetically is a defiant title for a sweet record, yet it also suits Kelsea Ballerini's second album. Emboldened by the success of her 2015 debut The First Time, Ballerini embraces the possibilities of being a country-pop star, expanding her sonic palette and allowing herself to seem vulnerable throughout the album. Of the two evolutions, the former is the easiest to notice, as Unapologetically is a bold, colorful record that relies heavily on gleaming electronic surfaces and drum loops. Compared to the soft focus of The First Time, Unapologetically feels cinematic, filled with grand gestures and unexpected shifts in tone. Even the intimate moments feel heightened, dressed with ornate guitars and whispering keyboards, and there's even a buried voicemail on "In Between." Ballerini's voice may still sound youthful in places -- that's a large part of her charm -- but even when she's looking back at "High School," she's not juvenile: Like her clear idol Taylor Swift, she's writing about matters of the heart with sensitivity. And like Swift, Ballerini does seem to have her eye on a mainstream pop stardom that doesn't exist entirely within the confines of country music. Make no mistake, Unapologetically is certainly a country record -- there's an adherence to old-fashioned song structure and a bit of an arena twang threaded throughout the record -- but every number is given a slick electronic gloss that pushes it in the direction of adult contemporary MOR. Far from being a detriment, however, that's the strength of Unapologetically: It remains vibrant and fresh even though it sounds measured and mature.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/03/2017
Label: Black River Ent.
UPC: 0851491003304
catalogNumber: 2017
Rank: 175573

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kelsea Ballerini   Primary Artist
David Dorn   Organ,Synthesizer,Piano,Strings,Keyboards
Fred Eltringham   Drums
Derek Wells   Electric Guitar,Steel Guitar
Lee Hendricks   Bass
Hillary Lindsey   Background Vocals
Rob McNelley   Guitar
Adam Shoenfeld   Electric Guitar
David Hodges   Acoustic Guitar
Kris Donegan   Guitar
Jason Massey   Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Drums,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Jimmy Robbins   Acoustic Guitar,Piano
Evan Hutchings   Drums
Zach Crowell   Acoustic Guitar
Lindsay Rimes   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Nicolle Galyon   Background Vocals
Nir "Z" Zidkyahu   Drums
Forest Glen Whitehead   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Jennifer Denmark   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Greg Wells   Composer
Shane McAnally   Composer,Producer
Jim Cooley   Engineer
Hillary Lindsey   Composer
David Hodges   Composer
Ross Copperman   Composer,Programming
Jason Massey   Programming,Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements,drum programming,Brass Arrangment
Ashley Gorley   Composer
Katie Moore   Art Direction
Ryan Gore   Engineer
Jimmy Robbins   Composer,Programming,Producer
Trevor Rosen   Composer
Zach Crowell   Composer
James Abrahart   Composer
Lindsay Rimes   Composer,Programming,Producer,String Arrangements
Nicolle Galyon   Composer
Forest Glen Whitehead   Composer,Producer
Kelsea Ballerini   Composer
Dan Mikesell   Composer
Jennifer Denmark   Composer
Brett Hodges   Composer

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