Kelsea Ballerini Wears Her Heart On Her Sleeve With "SUBJECT TO CHANGE"
Updated: Sep 24, 2022
God is a woman, and her name is Kelsea Ballerini. The queen's highly-anticipated fourth studio album, SUBJECT TO CHANGE, is finally here, and to say the least it didn't disappoint. Ballerini truly knows how to tug at fans' every last heartstring.
We've spent countless hours streaming this 15-track, sentimental masterpiece, and we grow more obsessed with every listen. This album is truly filled with "legends" (see what we did there?).
SUBJECT TO CHANGE puts Ballerini's unmatched songwriting, signature country-pop vocals, and vulnerability on full display. "If one thing's the same, it's that I'm subject to change," she sings in the title track; this line probably summarizes the album and its themes best. This record arrives at a tumultuous time in Ballerini's life - recently, she split from her husband of four years, Morgan Evans, as well as faced bullying on Twitter and experienced a falling-out with former collaborator Halsey.
"When you get married that young, you got a lot of shit you gotta get through," explains Ballerini on "DOIN' MY BEST," one of the most upbeat yet introspective songs on the new record. "Sometimes I try to say the right thing and it comes out wrong / And Twitter kicked my ass, now it's one less app on my iPhone," she sings on the track. Her outlook of growth and giving herself grace shines through, inspiring fans everywhere to make the best of every situation.
In an extremely personal ballad entitled "MARILYN," Ballerini explores the cost of fame, one's dream life or dream body, and looking "perfect." "Was the way that everyone loved you a feeling you outgrew? /'Cause everybody wanted to be you, but did you?" she poignantly asks. We're so glad Ballerini is calling attention to this issue. The track reminds us of the song "The Lucky One" by Taylor Swift, as well as the book The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Also, Ballerini placed the two most emotional songs back-to-back at the end of the album, closing the project with the sensational "WHAT I HAVE." With this, she turned us into emotional wrecks by the end of our first listen.
On a happier note, SUBJECT TO CHANGE features the joyful, bubbly "MUSCLE MEMORY" and "THE LITTLE THINGS," as well as of course the lead single "HEARTFIRST." These catchy tracks comprise the album's more optimistic side, covering love, lust, small pleasures in everyday life, and the thrill of taking risks. "Only the moon knows what's in the stars," sings Ballerini on "HEARTFIRST," in one of the album's standout lyrics.
Overall, Ballerini has managed to outdo herself again. On her most personal record to date, she pours her heart and soul into every lyric, every guitar chord, and every note, once again reminding fans of what they love most about her. The album's lyrics read like a series of diary entries, where the superstar transparently shares both her struggles and growth. No words could possibly do justice to our awe of Ballerini's talent, or our pride in her.