Releasing her debut full length album on July 24th, former X-Factor contestant Bea Miller has made her first real impression. Not an Apology is a well-balanced mix of songs that have been released over the past year and a half, as well as a some that few have heard. With this album, she should quickly rise from simply a former contestant and YouTube sensation to a well-known artist.
Listening to Not an Apology is simply put, a entertaining experience. Opening with her top two singles “Young Blood” and “Fire & Gold,” you are quickly brought in with what you know. “Fire & Gold” has been featured through Pandora, iTunes Radio, and is practically on repeat if you listen to Sirius. What makes the start of this album so much better is that as soon as you move from her most well-known songs, you are given her best song.
“I Dare You” is a perfect mixture of Bea showing off her vocal ability with a very radio-friendly beat. It really represents the album as a whole. The majority of Miller’s songs have the substance to stand on their own as each and every one is perfect for being belted out as you roll the windows down and ride down the highway. Unfortunately, this is also the biggest downfall of the album. You find yourself almost lapsing in the middle of this album with “Paper Doll” and “Perfect Picture” which only appear to be a lapse because they are slowed down. The less upbeat approach disrupts the feel of the entire album and leaves the listener somewhat questioning the songs, despite the fact that they are incredibly well made. Thankfully, the listener is blessed with Bea’s best vocal work of the album as “Force of Nature” moves the tempo back up.
I have listened to practically every song or cover that Bea Miller has performed and “Force of Nature” is one of the best displays of the vocal talent that she possesses. Sometimes shaded by the radio-friendly songs she produces, her talent is truly elite.
The album finishes with two older songs and one new release. This new release, “We’re Taking Over” may be the best individual representation of Bea Miller as a whole. The song itself is in the middle of the pack for the album, but it speaks well to a lot of what she does. Miller again displays flashes of her remarkable to harness most of the audience’s attention. The lyrics, while some are a tad corny, speak to the empowerment of a younger generation to simply believe and be themselves no matter the surroundings. The lyrics are supported by another upbeat tempo that leaves the listener playing the song even if not paying attention to the lyrics.
It’s difficult to listen all the way through Not an Apology without enjoying yourself. Is this a ground-breaking album that will resonate for years with hundreds of millions of fans? No. But this album accomplishes exactly what it is supposed to accomplish. It provides a number of delightful, upbeat songs that the listener can belt at the top of their lungs with no regards to what they are saying. But when looking into what the lyrics are actually saying, she leaves every single set of ears feeling better about themselves than when they started.
Stand Out Tracks: Force of Nature, I Dare You, Fire & Gold
Forgettable Tracks: Perfect Picture (Solely based on location in this album)
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