Album Review: Zella Day – Kicker

Kicker by Zella Day

#aotd is Kicker by Zella Day. Kicker is an indie-pop album very much in the vein of genre heavyweights like Lana Del Ray and Lorde. So what sets Zella apart? Well firstly I’d argue that she has a more dynamic voice than Del Ray and also employs a more interesting immediately appealing production. The deep bassy percussion form the basis of most the songs on here but there is also a diverse range of other instrumentation on here including guitars, synths, piano and even a surprising amount of strings. The stellar track “Hypnotic” features an infectious drum beat, mysterious guitar strumming and a brilliantly performed hook which all amount to the best song on the album. This album’s production definitely is at its best when it is firing on all cylinders and sounding as expansive as it can like on the aforementioned “Hypnotic” and the epic track “High”. While this makes those tracks sound brilliant, it hurts some of the slower cuts like “1965” which kind of just meanders along and doesn’t make use of the great string section which backs it. The album does do well when it goes fully acoustic on the song “Jameson”, Zella shows off a more intimate and emotive side to her voice which I hope to hear on future albums. While Zella’s voice is absolutely fantastic and doesn’t misfire once on the whole album, her lyrical ability can sometimes feel slightly underwhelming and shallow but who am I kidding this is a pop album dammit. The worst song on this album is easily “Mustang Kids” which sounds like a B-side from the Fall Out Boy’s Save Rock and Roll but even more over-produced and just downright grating. Despite its flaws though, Kicker is a worthwhile pop album with some brilliant songs but it is severely bogged down by some underwhelming filler tracks.
Rating: 3.4/5

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