As I’ve mentioned here in the early part of 2015, country music seems to be testing the waters on new artists. It’s good to see because country radio could use some new blood. There has also been a good bit of variety amongst these new artists from A Thousand Horses to Striking Matches to Mickey Guyton, there’s been a little bit of everything. Another new artist that is different from the rest I mentioned is Kelsea Ballerini. With country radio failing to put enough female artists on the airwaves, it’s even better to see new female artists. Ballerini has seemed to destined for music from an early age, writing her first song at 13, moving to Nashville at 15 and signing with Black River Entertainment at 19. She made her debut into country music late in 2014 with her first single “Love Me Like You Mean It,” which has been steadily climbing the charts.
Before I review this song I want to take a moment to remind everyone that female artists are just as capable of making bad music as male artists. People seem to want to give female artists a pass just because of the lack of female artists on country radio. Well I don’t do that. If I feel a song is good or bad, I will say it regardless of it being a male or female artist. So with that out of the way, let’s take a look at this single from Ballerini. Right away you’ll notice this is a pop country song through and through. Well scratch that. Make it just a pop song (with a dash of R&B) because the country in this song is non-existent.
This leads me to the lyrics of this song and…just take a look at the opening lyrics of “Love Me Like You Mean It”:
Boy with your hat back
Mmm I kinda like that
If you wanna walk my way
I’mma shoot you straight up
Show me what you are made of”
*face palm* Really? You know what these lyrics make me picture in my head? I imagine I’m in a bar and Chase Rice is sitting at the counter. Or Cole Swindell. Pick any bro-country artist you want. So they’re sitting there at the bar and Ballerini walks up to them uttering these lyrics. Then Rice flashes a douchey smirk at her and makes a condescending, sexist remark. Ballerini eats this up most likely. I’m sitting in the background rolling my eyes so hard they’re about to fall out. That’s the mental image I get when I hear these lyrics. This is not a good thing.
The rest of the song Ballerini pretty much contradicts this opening line, as she talks about immature boys and heartbreakers in her past relationships. Maybe you should stop dating bro idiots wearing hats? As for the chorus, I feel like it’s a slightly less annoying version of the chorus on RaeLynn’s “Better Do It.” She’s asking for guys to commit who can’t commit. These lyrics are confusing and quite frankly shallow in terms of depth. This is bubblegum pop meant to appeal to radio and casual listeners. In a world with common sense this is on pop radio. But we live in a world where pop music being passed off as country music is the norm.
I’m all for more women on country radio, but I’m sorry this just doesn’t cut it for me. This is hurting women more than anything. It’s another song where the male is put into a position of power and the woman is groveling for his attention. Ballerini has a nice voice and could maybe make some decent country music, but this does not cast her in a positive light in my eyes. At the moment this song is lingering around the 28-32 range on the Billboard Country Airplay chart and I don’t expect it to go much higher thankfully. I hope Ballerini’s next offering is better because “Love Me Like You Mean It” is just terrible.