30 Sep 2022
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Kaylee Bell - Album Review: Silver Linings

12 Dec 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Kaylee Bell is the most streamed female Country artist from Australasia, with more than 30 million to date, with her recent hit single That Summer breaking the million and being the most added song to mainstream radio in New Zealand in the month of release. That is one of the eight songs on this rather short album, which is less than 25 minutes long with every song being just either side of the three-minute mark with the longest being the title cut at 3:33. She opened for Dixie Chicks when they played  Mission Estate Vineyard, and has sung with Keith Urban so there is no doubt that this Mainlander is moving in high circles within the Country industry and this album shows exactly why.

Each song on this album has been arranged and produced with infinite care, which is both a positive and, for me, a negative. This feels like an American release, not one from this part of the world, and the production is too over the top and it sounds as if it is being aimed very strongly at a certain listener, and I am not the target. I would much rather this had less musicians and singers, less production, and Kaylee being allowed to just perform with a guitar and some reverb on her voice. A decision has been made to aim strongly at the Shania Twain market with Mutt Lange-style production, while Dixie Chicks are another production influence. That this is a strong album is never in doubt, yet I would rather it was longer and that it had not been sanitized quite so much. The songs feel somewhat smothered, and the vitality is never allowed to shine through as it should.

She is a great singer and songwriter, and I am sure that when Kaylee plays live then these songs will be completely different, with much more energy and realism, but while there is no doubt there are many who view this as a highly accomplished release, for me it is an opportunity missed as it is not as great as it could have been.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Kaylee Bell

Kaylee Bell is an artist who has already proven her international appeal having won over fans in her homeland of New Zealand and now doing likewise in Australia. Testament to this is her Gold Guitar - New Zealand’s highest accolade for country music - and her most recent crowning glory as Australia’s 2013 Toyota Star Maker.

Following her experience at the CMAA College of Country Music in 2009, 24-year-old Kaylee, from the little town of Waimate on New Zealand’s South Island, went home and set about making plans to “cross the Ditch” and carve out a career for herself.

In 2011, she did just that and, on completion of a Bachelor in Performing Arts majoring in musical theatre, in Christchurch, packed up her life and headed solo to Australia for the pursuit of success.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Kaylee Bell

Releases

Silver Linings
Year: 2021
Type: Album
Heart First
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Wayward
Year: 2010
Type: Album

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