Written by: Vickye Fisher at http://www.forthecountryrecord.com
A few listens to Veronica Ballestrini’s sophomore album ‘Flip Side’ and we get the sense that the young singer/songwriter has come a long way in five years. That’s really how long it’s been since her debut album ‘What I’m All About’ was released, when at the tender age of 17 she harnessed the power of a social media and internet fanbase to launch her career. Now 22, there have been some lessons learned and some life experiences felt, including an 18 month relationship with Shay Mooney of Dan + Shay. “I’ve been hurt, I’ve been broken, I’ve made mistakes, but I’ve also had the best days ever,” Veronica muses on the record. “And I’ve written songs throughout all these times”.
That certainly feels like the case when it comes to this collection of 11 tracks; from the dream-filled wonderment and determination of opener ‘Wishing Wondering Waiting’, to the sweet love letter to her parents ‘Because You Loved Me’, there is plenty of positivity to be taken from this record. Indeed, its lead single, ‘Cookies & Cream’, is one of the cheeriest, catchiest country pop tunes I’ve heard in a while, not to mention the clever lyrical structure, inter-rhymes and smart attention to rhythmic delivery. Veronica is earnest in her tales of love, innocence underpinning the way she paints a picture of infatuation in ‘Be My Reason’ and in closer ‘What Do You Say’. Complications and overthinking cloud the message of the latter, coyness and butterflies all wrapped up in a slowly building ballad that features a really cute hook.
In the same way that she launched her career, Veronica showcases the stories of the past few years on ‘Flip Side’ against a backdrop of heavily pop branded modern country, on the one hand dipping into twang in the form of mandolins and banjos, while on the other never shying away from using synth sounds or electronic techniques for the vocals to add seasoning to a track. ‘Stumbling’ has a distinctly laid-back “island” feel, chilled vocals and an easy-going lyric of young love, but two and a half minutes in she adds the twist of a guest rapper. It’s certainly a surprise, but only lasts for around 20 seconds, so anybody who would find that off-putting isn’t overwhelmed by the addition.
Read full article here: http://forthecountryrecord.com/2014/07/23/featured-veronica-ballestrini-flip-side/