Rachel Platten: Waves

by Stella Landry

Rachel Platten could have easily fallen into the one hit wonderful category with her 2015 hit single, “Fight Song,” but thankfully with the release of her new full-length album Waves, Platten shakes it off, and asserts her feminine guile with great result.  The anticipation for Waves has been building on social media with teasers, clips and a rabid fan base dubbed the “Plattenums.”

Though downplayed by Platten, her tune was blared at the Democratic Convention at Clinton rallies.  Platten herself, has continued to stay in the political ring with women’s marches and the ever-popular social platform political postings that seem to have dominated the social media sphere.  So, certainly it is not a surprise her new release offers up emboldened socio-political messages within the music.  Her single “Broken Glass,” exhibits a strong and outward anthem towards feminism.   Platten directly links her experiences marching on Washington as the inspiration behind the song.  A self-described fighter and a survivor, overcoming political decriers, she demands societal change.  Platten proclaims that “she envisions a future wherein women not only shatter the metaphorical glass ceiling, but they dance on the broken glass as well.”

“Perfect For You” shows Platten’s vocal ability to punch a melody line in the right places to push it forward, but convey the groove without rushing the rhythm. Each line in the verse starts on an off-beat and Platten accents it in a way that feels good. She continues to accent various off-beat notes throughout the melody, simply magical! The lyrics are interesting and tell a story. The song unfolds in a natural way and her upper register, her vocal fill in the latter part of the song are another display of her formidable vocal skills.

Platten shows us her rich vocal range in “Collide.” The melody has a wide range that she easily navigates, all with rich vocal sonority and control. Also, a nice rhythmic touch in the song structure is the pulse of the verse, each chorus is different, resulting in a subtle change that adds interest and perhaps collides with our sense of flow enough to make us listen!

 


Tracks to sample first:
Perfect For You,” and “Whole Heart.”  The song to take a chance on is “Shivers.”

 

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