Maddie Wilson - 'Lightning Strikes'

I was recently introduced to the music of country-pop singer-songwriter Maddie Wilson. Maddie's latest album Lightning Strikes was released in the summer of 2015 and continues to receive a positive response from fans and press alike. With all seven tracks on the album written or co-written by Maddie the album cements her country-pop overall sound and is sure to appeal to both her previous fans and new listeners.

This album is a bit of a mixed bag as a whole. Maddie has an intriguing edge to her voice that you don't get to hear enough of but her overall tone is strong however the songs here feel a little lacking in depth. The acoustic versions of Echo and Chelsey's Boyfriend are strong but all the other tracks feel a little too 'poppy' to truly appeal to country listeners.

Girls has the most draw as a track. It feels more personal to Maddie than the other tracks, possibly due to the less 'poppy' sound to the acoustic guitar led production. It would be nice to hear this really stripped back, Maddie has a strong vocal and it would showcase her better than the relatively heavy production that we hear in this track and throughout the rest of the album. This is still a strong track, lines like "it doesn't make you pretty tearing someone at the seams" are sure to resonate with listeners, a compelling and catchy listen.

Interestingly, lead single Chelsey's Boyfriend is better acoustic rather than the original version that opens the album. It feels as though there is more emotion behind the acoustic version as Maddie's vocal isn't hidden behind an all encompassing instrumental line. The sentiment behind the track is quite sweet, seemingly autobiographical of a real-life situation and directed towards a friend of Maddie's with a story being built up around the central line of "Chelsey I just don't like your boyfriend".

Track listing...
1) Chelsey's Boyfriend - Maddie Wilson, Becky Willard
2) Fortune Cookie - Maddie Wilson, Kayliann Lowe, Doug Lowe, Bill DiLuigi
3) Echo - Maddie Wilson, Brooke Elizabeth Malouf, William King, Dakota Jay
4) Waiting For Lightning To Strike - Maddie Wilson, Becky Willard
5) You Ain't All That - Maddie Wilson, Brooke Elizabeth Malouf, William King, Dakota Jay
6) Girls - Maddie Wilson, Tami Hinesh
7) I Think We Should Date - Maddie Wilson, Becky Willard
8) Echo (acoustic) - Maddie Wilson, Brooke Elizabeth Malouf, William King, Dakota Jay
9) Chelsey's Boyfriend (acoustic) - Maddie Wilson, Becky Willard
10) You Ain't All That (writing session worktape) - Maddie Wilson, Brooke Elizabeth Malouf, William King, Dakota Jay

Whilst this album is intrinsically a strong release it doesn't really push Maddie to the forefront of country-pop. I would probably avoid it if you are not a fan of country-pop as it fits quite distinctly within that but it is still a promising album and it will be interesting to hear how Maddie develops as an artist with future releases.