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Wildfire by Rachel Platten

Wildfire by Rachel Platten

Album Review

Rachel Platten’s story isn’t atypical. After more than a decade toiling away in the trenches of mainstream pop, she finally had her planets align in 2015 and had “Fight Song” — an inspirational slice of AAA affirmation-pop in the tradition of Sara Bareilles’ “Brave” and Katy Perry’s “Roar” — turn into a genuine phenomenon, the result of good timing and hard work. Other stars of the 2010s followed a similar trajectory, including Perry herself, but in Platten’s case, it’s hard not to focus on the craft behind her 2016 major-label debut, Wildfire. By bouncing between Kelly Clarkson power ballads and Taylor Swift in electrified Max Martin mode, Platten illustrates her diversity but her heart lies in the middle of the road. “Fight Song” indicated as much but Platten doubles down on its melodrama by opening the album with “Stand by You,” another dose of inspiration cut from the “Brave”/”Roar” cloth, and much of Wildfire…




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