Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Kelsea Ballerini – Yeah Boy

Let’s hear it for…


Katie Gill: I will be the first to admit this is exceedingly middle of the road. Yet Ballerini SELLS it. She puts so much sweetness in her voice, selling the hell out of these mediocre lyrics with layers of charm. And honestly? Country music has far too many ‘male singer describes his female love interest in exceedingly generic terms’ songs that somehow inevitably creep into the Top 40. Seeing a woman play at the generic song game and knock it out of the park in an entirely adorable fashion just gives me hope for modern Top 40 country again. This really deserves to blow up big.

Alfred Soto: I would sip wine with Kelsea Ballerini, preferably under the shade of a cool tree with fruit and some cheeses. Our conversation would be sharper than the banalities she entrusts to her collaborators even if the lilt in the chorus summons post-adolescent romantic submission rather well.

Ryo Miyauchi: Kelsea Ballerini putting down her country guitars for more straight-up pop affections doesn’t surprise me much considering how tailored to pop her last album was. A thing to slightly miss more is her tough-girl persona that demanded realness from her men. But after some solid singles, she’s earned some time to cut a record where she winds down and sings about more innocent crushes.

Anthony Easton: This does not have the grind or the grit that might suggest sexuality, but it has a joyful bubbling that allows for another kind of sexiness. That it moves so much, and that her vocals are a rush that verges on stumbling on that guitar line, has all of the youthful exuberance that makes a perfect summer song.

Crystal Leww: Kelsea Ballerini continued success has been a nice counterargument for country’s turn to traditionalism. The singles off her debut album have been massively popular on the charts. While friend Maren Morris’s music is appealing to critical success, Ballerini’s music is appealing to chart success. That is not to say that Kelsea Ballerini’s music isn’t good, even great — having seen her live, country music puts all of its acts, even the ones that are tilting pop, through the machine until they are polished and ready to go. “Yeah Boy” is two years old at this point, but sounds fine on a fresh spring day, jangling along with Ballerini’s endless charm over it. 

Edward Okulicz: Boys are stupid (I know, I am one), and I don’t buy Ballerini’s interest or infatuation. That’s weird, because her other singles have bristled with life and burst out of the speakers. Here, she sounds as if she doesn’t care if the boy drops dead or pours her a drink and sweeps her off her feet.

Thomas Inskeep: The simple reason that Ballerini’s notched a quartet of top 3 Country Airplay singles from her debut album is that she’s fit herself nicely into Taylor Swift’s old niche: she’s a young female country singer who’s relatable as all hell. She’s also got star quality in spades, and sells her songs with vocals that make you believe ’em. That said, “Yeah Boy” is more cute than really good, but it’s still refreshing to hear in the midst of the bro-fest that is still country radio these days. And the banjo’s a nice touch.

Katherine St Asaph: Ballerina delivers the title less as “hell yeah” than “yeah, whatever,” which is odd considering it’s supposed to anchor the entire track. Everything else is likable enough.

Reader average: [8.5] (2 votes)

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One Response to “Kelsea Ballerini – Yeah Boy”

  1. Katie and I making references to Ballerini’s selling of the song FTW!