Zella Day - Kicker: Review of the Album of the Year

"Wanna be on the front line
knotted up suit ties
talking like a headstrong mama"

This is the sassy start of Hypnotic, one of the gems from Zella Day's debut album Kicker. If you've never heard of Zella, it's no surprise - she's a new artist that has just recently released her amazing first album. She's been pretty much under the radar, but with music this good, it's time people heard more about her. Kicker is full of inspired pop-rock, acoustic and folky songs that sound something Lana Del Rey would do. Even their voices are quite similar in some ballads. However, Zella is never quite that bleak and has much more uptempo songs.

1. Jerome (5/5) - Jerome is a great opening to the album. This song will get you immediately hooked and excited for the rest of the album. You'll definitely be singing the chorus in your head all day long after just one listen.

2. High (5/5) - This song continues in the same midtempo rhythm and is just as catchy. It was definitely made to be a hit and should be released as a single ASAP!

3. Ace of Hearts (5/5) - The first ballad on the album, Ace of Hearts starts with dreamy verses that are followed by a great chorus. The song is full of night imagery ("Caught you at midnight, not in my right mind," "There's darkness between us, the moon is a witness"), which create the perfect atmosphere.

4. 1965 (5/5) - This is where Zella sounds the most like Lana, in a ballad that was inspired by Zella's grandmother. It's another great, nostalgic song where the singer reminisces about the past and wants to relive it.

5. East of Eden (5/5) - "Tiger on the prowl, east of Eden, coming for you now..." Another midtempo with some interesting lyrics and the middle-8 that takes the song to another level.

6. Hypnotic (5/5) - Definitely one of the highlights on the album. Everything about this song screams "no.1 hit!" What's even better is that there's a video for it, so you can enjoy the song in all of its glory.

7. Mustang Kids (5/5) - In the only collab on the album, Zella teams up with rapper Baby E. The result is a song that stands out from the rest: Baby E raps on the catchy verses, while Zella sings the powerful chorus and bridges. It's another single-worthy song, the only problem being that it's too short.

8. The Outlaw Josey Wales (5/5) - Named after a movie starring Clint Eastwood, this song is inspired by Josey Wales, a fictional character from the American Civil War. It's another uptempo song with great instrumental.

9. Jameson (3/5) - This is a lovely acoustic ballad, one of the most emotional songs on the album. While it's a very good ballad, it doesn't quite compare to others, such as Ace of Hearts or 1965.

10. Shadow Preachers (4/5) - Shadow Preachers is kind of like a mix of High and Ace of Hearts, but not as good as those two. Still, it's definitely worth a listen.

11. Sweet Ophelia (5/5) - Starting off like a ballad, Sweet Ophelia quickly kicks off in the explosive chorus. There's a video for this song too, so check it out!

12. Compass (3/5) - The last song is a magical ballad with fairytale imagery, full of nature motives. "Take me to the garden of your ecstasy, make myself a heaven from your falling leaves." Not the strongest song here, but a great way to close the album.

After such a great album, we have to have a little bit of controversy, right? Well, you know how live performances often don't sound like the album version of the song? I don't know if Zella had a cold when she performed Hypnotic here, but she sure sounds like it. She might want to use some heavy backing vocals or a pre-recorded track sometimes, just in case.

1 Response to "Zella Day - Kicker: Review of the Album of the Year"

  1. Josey Wales... You're like Josey Wales. I love this one!!