Album Reviews

Megan McKenna – Story Of Me – Album Review

From the start of the album with the track Odds I felt as if I was listening to an artist straight from Nashville and that isn’t exactly far fetched when the song was written by April Geesbreght ( Dirt Road Prayer – Lauren Alaina, Heartbreak Song – Mickey Guyton) Eric Olson (Holding The Other – Lauren Alaina) and Lauren Alaina. For those unfamiliar with Lauren Alaina, I urge you to look her up as her music is sensational and I can see why Megan would choose a track Lauren has been involved with.  The pop infused country song is instantly memorable with country radio potential and a definite arena filled vibe with its atmospheric stylings. Odds is the type of song that can have many different versions; country;pop; dance and more.

Going in a more deeper direction, Megan delivers a beautiful ballad in Paperboy. Again, a very memorable track and very fitting within the Nashville country scene. Written by Amy Wadge, Catherine McGrath and Jon Maguire this song was always going to be a good one. Many know Amy Wadge from her credits on Ed Sheeran’s track Thinking Out Loud. Amy has had quite a lot of involvement in the country music writing world recently and has written a lot with Megan for this album. Catherine McGrath is an Irish singer/songwriter who has become one of the biggest stars in the UK Country scene so fans of Catherine should definitely like this album especially the songs penned by McGrath.

Everything But You brings us another ballad with a melody that is beautiful in its simplicity. Penned by Megan herself alongside Amy Wadge, the pair clearly work well together as this is one of a few tracks they wrote together. The chorus is really quite infectious with the help of Megan’s voice bringing a gorgeous riff especially on the lyric I Have Everything I Do, But You. This is the kind of song that you want to hear acoustically live; completely stripped back with nothing but one guitar and Megan’s voice and I hope she considers doing that during any future live shows.

Previously released song during the summer History has a strong country vibe in its instrumentation. The banjo picking is fun and up beat and the song as a whole is quite pop. Written by Phil Cook ( American Aquarium, BJ Barham, Amy Ray) and Chelcee Grimes (The Saturdays, Kesha, Dua Lipa).

Story of Me is a breathtaking ballad that really showcases Megan’s vocals and her ability to sing with believable emotion. The third track off the album co written by Amy Wadge – this song is very moving and we see a much softer side to Megan and get to know her a little bit more. There is something christmasey about this song in the melody and I kind of wish she released a wintery video for it. I can already imagine a wintery styled coat and a lot of snow haha. Definitely one of the best tracks off the album.

How Many Times brings us the third instalment of the workings of Megan and Amy Wadge. This song is more pop focused than country and at first was one of my least favourite tracks off the album but is definitely a grower and now I find myself really enjoying it. I am sure many will disagree with me on that though and think this will be a firm favourite for a lot of people from the get-go. The intro is great with the strings instrumental and Megan’s tone is very effective throughout the track.

Far Cry From Love was one of two songs that Megan released first. An emotive ballad that she wrote with Beth Nielson Chapman during her trip to Nashville as part of her mini docu series There’s Something About Megan, this was the first real incite fans of Megan saw to her life and her heartbreak. Another song that would be stunning completely stripped back, Megan proves her worth as a songwriter here.

If You goes back to a more country direction. The fourth and final track co-written by Megan and Amy Wadge , the song is vocally, lyrically and sonically stunning. I really like this song, it is quite inspirational and has an early Taylor Swift way about it. The chorus is very infectious and great to sing along to.

Headline written by Tori Tullier, Ben Goldsmith ( Jerrod Niemann – Blue Bandana) and Alana Springsteen has a very strong US country-pop way about it. Alana Springsteen is a rising, young country star herself so the song is very suitable for Megan.

High Heeled Shoes was Megan’s first number one song on the Itunes chart. The fun-filled track has relatable lyrics to any female. Written by Nick Southwood, Norma Jean Martine and Catherine McGrath this is a good track to end the album on. High Heeled Shoes was our introduction to Megan as a country singer and this song is very suited to her vocally and lyrically. With so many young women looking up to Megan, I think this song along with the others will make them feel more connected to Megan and less alone in their feelings.

Overall, Story Of Me is a well produced ( produced by Jon Maguire, Phil Cook, Nick Southwood, Jamie Sellers) well written great album and far superior to that of a “first attempt by a tv star”. Many tv stars make the move to music but it is clear that music is what Megan was born to do – you don’t have a voice like her and just decide to sing one day, if you sing like Megan then you have always wanted to be a singer.

Megan has proven herself to be so much more than a reality tv star and I really urge people to give her music a chance. Some Country fans have been a bit skeptical but Megan is far from amateur and this album really shows that. Megan has clearly invested a lot of time getting to know the Nashville scene and has teamed up with some of Nashville’s finest. These songs could have easily have been recorded by artists such as Kelsea Ballerini, Lauren Alaina and more well established US stars and fans would have gone crazy over them so this album and Megan McKenna really should not be overlooked. Story of Me has a place within the US country market and with Megan’s honest writing, naturally stunning tone and impressive vocal control, she really has the potential to have a very successful music career.

Review by Hannah Compton

Listen to Story of Me here

Purchase Story of Me here

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