Music Review: Wild Soul by Chelsea Alice Scott

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June 13, 2017
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Music Review: Wild Soul by Chelsea Alice Scott
Love One on One (Original) - Chelsea Alice Scott and Philippa Hanna

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Track Listing

In It All
Never Too Late
Only Human
Love One on One (feat. Philippa Hanna)
Wild Soul

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I’ve toured all around the UK, wrote songs through tears and laughter, learnt to love life in all it’s seasons and even walked down the aisle. In 2015 we brought in the new year with a song writing trip. I remember it so distinctly; the beautiful views loudly clashing with my thoughts and feelings. The presence of such light and darkness led to a diagnosis of severe depression and a long journey back to myself.

Songs such as Saviour and Islands resonate with such a time. Thankfully, with the support of those around me, things started to change and the album started to transform into an anthem of rising up and chasing after life. Fearless, In It All, Unpredictable and Wild Soul were born, shaping the sound into what it is today. My heart for the album is for you to know that life can be tough at times, but within us all is the power to rise up fearlessly. Never settle for the hand you are dealt, we are born into a world untamed. So be brave, be fearless and live a life as a Wild Soul.

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This 2016 release from Chelsea Alice Scott comes 4 years after the original EP release of "Lucky Girl". Since then I think it's fair to say there have been a number of developments for Chelsea both personally and professionally. For a start she has got married but more importantly she has deepened her writing and her musical style. She still sits comfortably in the Singer / Songwriter category but there is more breadth to her sound on this new album.

The first track "In It All" is a reminder that God is in everything that goes on in our lives, no matter how far away God may seem in the day to day moments this is a reminder that God is central. This track see's Chelsea move away from the simple guitar backing, using keys and percussion to bring this song to life. "Islands" too uses the more electronic elements to build up the atmosphere and with this song it feels like there are elements of Philippa Hanna's songwriting styles. It would be too simple to say that Chelsea's writing is a carbon copy of her Sister-in-Laws style, but certainly elements wash through.

"Never Too Late" is about a relationship breakdown, it seems as though it is a human relationship but it echoes the relationship with God. It is a promise that He is dependable and can be trusted and it doesn't matter what we have done, He will never give up on us. "Unpredictable" opens with a distinct vocal which carries a slightly rebellious tone which is entirely appropriate given the nature of this track. It isn't necessarily about rebellion, instead it is about not accepting blindly everything that you have been told and living your life in your own way.

The next track is one that asks "Will you still love me if I'm 'Only Human?'" This is basically remembering that no matter how we might come across to others, ultimately we all make mistakes. This is something we learn in relationships and early on in an effort to impress new friends we might hold back part of our personalities - but ultimately, at some point, they have to get to know the real you, and at this point is when you might end up asking this question.

"Love One On One" cements the Philippa Hanna influence by Chelsea and Philippa performing this together. Vocally there isn't much to choose between these two artists so unless you are listening intently it can be difficult to hear which is singing which parts. This song is a song of healing and is much needed in the fraught and tempestuous world that we live in where many a harsh word is spoken in the anger of the moment, but is so hard to take back or apologise. What this world needs is more individuals loving their neighbours despite any differences.

Chelsea is back on her natural instrument, the acoustic guitar, for "Saviour" and "Wild Soul" recaptures some of the quite rebellion from "Unpredictable" and echoes some similar ideas. The idea is that we were never meant to be caged, we were meant to be free. Reading between the lines it is this world (and unmentioned - sin) which keeps us locked up. The Christian listener will appreciate that the One who can set us free is Jesus (also unmentioned).

How do you feel when your world crumbles, something secure suddenly isn't there any more? Do you run and hide and hope it all passes, or are you someone, like Chelsea, who has had enough of hiding and instead has decided to be "Fearless"? Refusing to run, to stand and be brave and face the issues. With a solid beat in the background it feels like a track that could feature in a Wonder Woman commercial!

The album finishes with "Sanctuary", a nice gentle track which declares that she has someone who will always be with her, someone who gives her comfort and sanctuary from the events of this world and her life.

Chelsea uses a lot of imagery in her songs that show the safety in God without actually mentioning God. This makes her songs appealing to a wide audience because it can mean a lot of different things to different people. I am sure that she is more explicit in her concerts, but it has allowed her to open for Rebecca Ferguson, a platform that would probably not be there if the lyrics were more overtly Christian. There is definitely enough here for someone listening to these songs to read between the lines.

Vocally Chelsea has a very dynamic range, she is easy to listen to and also to pick out the lyrics, that cannot be said of all artists! This album shows a maturity and an openness about the battles that face us from outside with other people, or even just to conform and be like everyone else, but also those within when you are left questioning yourself and fighting for control over your own thoughts from mental illness. This is a positive statement that she will be "Unpredictable" and will be brave, to live free as a "Wild Soul" whilst remembering that all the time God is "In It All" and providing her the safety of "Sanctuary".

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