Rachel Platten's moment came at the beginning of 2015 when her inspirational 'Fight Song' became a worldwide hit, a personal anthem for many, igniting empowerment across the globe in a similar vein to the likes of her pop counterparts, Katy Perry and Kelly Clarkson. Follow up single 'Stand By You' continued said empowerment and now, exactly as the year turns, she releases a full LP - Wildfire.
Can an artist so focused and renown for her empowerment translate her enthusiasm into an entire album? I've ranked each of the twelve tracks from the standard edition of the album - out now, worldwide -
Stand By You
Beating me Up
Angels In Chelsea
You Don't Know My Heart
Hey Hey Hallelujah
Fight Song and Stand By You easily standout for all the right reasons - with the former still managing to feel enlivened almost eleven months after its initial release - while Better Place is the musical equivalent of a big, warm and giving hug when you need one the most; enchanting, ethereal and beautifully simple. Austronauts and Superman expand on the themes found in the album, while the 'Fight Song EP' tracks (Beating Me Up, Lone Ranger and Congratulations) still sound fresh, having allowed Platten time to fully identify her sound for the full LP. Even the more sonically-experimenting songs like Angels In Chelsea, You Don't Know My Heart and Hey Hey Hallelujah are enjoyable. This is a case of all killer, no filler.
Wildfire might not exactly be a game changer, nor is it likely to appeal to people outside the genre, but for those accustomed to Platten's signature sound and happy-go-lucky vibe, this is pop at its finest. It's fun and uplifting - unapologetically so - and guaranteed to make you beam, truly kicking off 2016 in style.