This is a republished post, backdated to reflect that and posted again for reader visibility, edited for past grammatical errors and sentence structure issues.
Despite some genre misclassifications, I’ve actually been somewhat of a fan of Kelsea Ballerini’s material thus far. Don’t get me wrong, some of her singles were awful, but behind those her debut album held a lot of promise. The writing was fairly strong for a debut, and Ballerini knew her way around a good hook (as well as a great melody). When she showed us songs like “Peter Pan,” “The First Time,” and “Secondhand Smoke,” I could really get behind her.
As for her new single, “Legends”? Eh, it’s more of an unfortunate mixed bag more so than anything terrible. If anything, “Legends” is a very confusing song. Sure, at its core it’s about a remembrance of love, but beyond that? I’m not sure. That’s the main problem with this song – it’s lacking a ton of details. What did these two actually do that was so epic? Why did it even end? More importantly, I’ve got some questions about some lines here, because who gets into a relationship for the “fame and the glory” anyway? And why did this guy give you a crown of all things?!?
To Ballerini, as well as producer Forest Glen Whitehead’s credit, the mix is surprisingly really solid, especially for pop-country. Sure, that drum machine that creeps up during the verses puts a frown on my face, but the chorus at least has some real drums. Besides that, the song is anchored by piano, with the electric guitar playing more of a supporting role than something that’s driving the melody. Really, I’m kind of impressed with this portion of the song. To her credit as well, Ballerini is a pretty good singer even if she does sound somewhat bored on this track.
But that brings me to my next point – the tone. The song incorporates some minor keys, sure, but all that leaves me wondering is, is this supposed to be a celebratory look at love or a melancholy one? Her vocal delivery gives me no indication, and once again, neither do the lyrics.
And that’s what this song ultimately is – confusing. I’m still somewhat looking forward to her sophomore album, and it is nice to see Ballerini’s music take somewhat of a more mature direction along the lines of “Peter Pan,” but this song isn’t doing much for me one way or the other.
Written by Kelsea Ballerini, Forest Glen Whitehead, and Hillary Lindsey