Last week, country newcomer, Kelsea Ballerini released her debut album, ‘The First Time.’ We knew the blonde country girl had already taught us some important lessons in life before the album dropped, but now that we know its entire contents, we can now proudly say that we’ve learned more than we already have from the young female songstress. The album interlaces important themes throughout that only Ballerini can portray so beautifully. So, now that we have given the album a listen a couple million times, we’ve picked out some of the most valuable lessons we can learn from ‘The First Time.’
1. Be Yourself and Trust Yourself
Ballerini portrays this message effortlessly in tracks like the album opener, ‘XO’ and the song about not fitting in and choosing to be yourself entitled, ‘Square Pegs.’ There is much craftsmanship to Ballerini’s words, which proves that she is a lyrical genius. The Tennessee native sings out in ‘Square Pegs,’ ‘There’s a lot of open doors you can go and explore. You can always open more if you’re hitting a will / dropping the ball / haven’t we all/ been down that same hallway? / So let ‘em talk and whisper/ let ‘em try to fix ya / repaint your picture / at the end of the day / it fits your frame / just cause you’re different don’t mean you’re crazy. ‘ ‘Yea Boy’ also encourages young girls to be themselves, and to trust their instincts. With empowering words like these, they are bound to inspire those who want to dream out loud to live a little louder as well.
2. The Past May Shape You, But It Doesn’t Define You
Ballerini portrays this lesson effortlessly through tracks like, ‘Sirens’, ‘The First Time,’ and the most special one of the album, ‘Secondhand Smoke,’ a song that opens herself up by sharing one of the most intense portion of her life with the listener. The blonde sings of her parents’ divorce and the effects that it has had on her, even into her adulthood years. In these tracks, Ballerini pleads to herself to make her own mistakes, and not to let the past define who she is as a person. She confidently sings through these emotions by not letting her guard down, and telling her fans of her past, and how she won’t let it define her.
3. We All Make Mistakes
It’s an obvious lesson that is interweaved throughout the entire album as it focuses on some of Ballerini’s mistakes, but also how she’s learned from those mistakes. Every track screams this message, and every track quietly whispers of the lessons that we learn by making those mistakes.
4. Walk The Walk
There is an exceptional amount of sass on this album. With this sass comes an important lesson of not only talking the talk, but also walking the walk. ‘Love Me Like You Mean it’ portrays this message effortlessly. She shamelessly sings in the chorus, ‘If you’re gonna talk the talk, you better walk it.’ This is one of the most important lessons Ballerini could teach us, not only when we’re dealing with a boy, but when we’re also dealing with life.
5. Stand Tall
The track that portrays this message perfectly is the fan favorite, ‘Stilettos’. It’s a song about holding your head high and learning how to be strong through the struggles of a heartbreak. The lyrics portray this lesson masterfully and metaphorically as she quietly boasts about wearing her pain like stilettos, standing her ground even if the boy is whispering ‘you were never enough.’ It teaches you to be strong through the pain and the hurt until it becomes a memory of the past.
‘The First Time’ is an album for all ages, and all genders to enjoy. It’s an album filled with heartbreak, vulnerability and lessons learned. There isn’t a track that doesn’t deal with everyday struggles. It’s a beautiful album that portrays beautiful moments filled with lifelong lessons. If you’re looking for an honest portrayal of a beautiful young woman who wears her heart on her sleeve, look no further than Kelsea Ballerini. We promise that you won’t be disappointed.
‘The First Time’ is available now.
Kara Johnson is a writer for Examiner and other social media websites. You can keep up to date with her on Twitter @AlotLikeKara