After struggling to land a record deal throughout the past decade, Rachel Platten is now one of the biggest rising stars today. However, her newest album “Wildfire” certainly falls short of being anything close to noteworthy.
Platten first saw fame with the release of her debut, major-label single, “Fight Song” in February 2015. The powerful inspiration anthem was nearly an instantaneous hit as it rose to the Top 10 shortly after release.
Now, fast-forwarding nearly a year later, the singer has just released her third full-length album. The 12-track set is comprised of songs about love, loss and hope. It is clear from the start that inspiration is the main theme of the record. From the up-tempo opening track, “Stand By You” the foundation of togetherness and support is laid out for a yearning listener in need of a courage boost.
While the album seems to be optimistic and emotionally appealing to those who are experiencing a great deal of pain, it does not do much more than that. Platten did her best to include both up-tempo and ballad type songs. However, when an album doesn’t sway too far from a single recurring theme it starts to sound bland. In both lyric and production value, the album fails to provide something more riveting than a generic radio mastered pop song.
In a sense, it feels as if Platten’s record label attempted to capitalize on the massive commercial success of, “Fight Song” and as a result, the album is chalked full of songs that only guarantee a path for success if she conforms as a radio made artist. There is no stretching of any boundary on “Wildfire“, but the songs present meaning for people in despair.
While the production value on Platten’s debut is quite underwhelming, her voice does shine in several areas. Platten’s vocal delivery is strongest on the second to last track, “Congratulations.” The song is a groove enthused song, which elaborates on the faults of a former lover, while vocally presenting a more serious, deeper range.
As a whole, “Wildfire” is ultimately a lackluster album from an artist who seemed to be unique and promising just a year ago.