American singer/songwriter Rachel Platten seemingly came out of nowhere last year; her single Fight Song charted in the Top 10 across the globe including in Australia, Canada and the US. The starlet released two albums prior to her current success. Now she is making her major label debut with Columbia Records; the result is her latest album Wildfire.
Platten’s take on modern pop joins the ranks with raw and deep lyrics with catchy and touching melodies. Recent single Stand By You opens the album on an explosive note; it’s a feel good anthem with a reassuring message and addictive atmosphere. Even the ballads fill your headphones, Speechless wins you over with Rachel’s emotive vocals; the tinniness of the drums and the intimacy of the piano are also driving forces.
Fight Song is one of the strongest tracks the album has to offer, not just because of its mainstream success, but the sheer force and power behind it makes it a worthy anthem. If you’re looking for something edgier give Lone Ranger a go, much of the first half of the album is toned down, whereas this track effortlessly captures attention. Congratulations sees the album take a different turn, taking on the darker themes of hurt and heartbreak.
For a major label debut Wildfire ticks most of the boxes for Rachel Platten; there are catchy tracks and relatable moments. When the album comes to an end you may wonder if Platten could have experimented with her sound more; there were moments where some of the ballads had many similar elements, for example the tinny drums and predictable piano parts. With that being said and put aside, Wildfire lives up to most of its hype and makes for an enjoyable pop listen.