Album Nights Like This by Kaylee Bell


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Kaylee Bell has always had the sort of vocal swagger that could truly fill up a room. Her third album backs up that natural confidence with her sharpest songwriting and most wide-ranging sound to date. Decamped to Nashville with some of the city’s in-demand players, the Aotearoa New Zealand artist crafts modern country with universal appeal on the heartland rocker “Small Town Friday Nights” and the pop-driven power ballad “When Summer Rolls Around.” “Boots ’N All” is about knowing when to seize the moment, and Bell’s powerful voice fittingly rises to that occasion. Driven by a firm electronic pulse, “Life Is Tough (But So Am I)” is a club-friendly duet with young pop singer Navvy. Bell also looks back to the soundtrack of her 1990s childhood, channeling Faith Hill on “Where Were You” and earnestly reworking Alanis Morissette’s empowering 1995 hit “You Learn.” She also returns to her own songbook, ending the album with a stripped-back and emotional version of her definitive track, “Keith.”

March 15, 2024 11 Songs, 34 minutes ℗ 2024 Kaylee Bell