Review: Kelsea Ballerini's Latest Crosses Country-Pop Boundaries

Nashville up-and-comer's second LP mixes pop, tradition

Kelsea Ballerini's second album is 'Unapologetically.' Credit: Sarah Barlow

A 24-year-old who grew up a Britney fan and now swears allegiance to Shania, Ballerini filled her 2015 debut with smack downs of Peter Pan bros and other losers, liars and users – songs that were country by virtue of the banjos and fiddles decorating their stomping choruses. When she opens Unapologetically with "Graveyard," vowing that the ghost of a broken heart won't hold her back, you can tell she's reloaded. Dial up the snare snaps of "Miss Me More" and it could be country trap. Nostalgia and acoustic guitar haze dampen the bite of "High School" and "Legends," but the over-you snaps of "Get Over Yourself" find her once again shooting at the walls of heartbreak. And her aim is true.