Clocking in at just under three and a half minutes long, Kaleigh’s “Country Class” is an expertly crafted yet wild and wooly example of blues rock with a strong strain of modern country running through the song to give it an added spin. Some might identify the musical backing as Southern rock, but the red hot slide guitar and rollicking quality of the song’s arrangement is thoroughly steeped in a time tested tradition that the twenty year old UCLA student sounds completely comfortable with. Her confidence is notable. The song has a slightly extended instrumental intro before she comes in for the first time but, when she makes her presence felt, you can’t turn away.
The song’s “narrative” of two people from backgrounds worlds apart coming together is something is obviously feels in the marrow of her bones. Kaleigh grabs her original lyric by the throat and belts it out for all its worth, but there’s always a defining element of artistic control in her approach that prevents it from descending into over-cooked caterwauling. Lesser singers would have likely laid things on too thick, but Kaleigh, even at twenty years old, shows instincts it takes many other singers a decade or more to develop. It illustrates the depths of her natural talent with the form and she shifts things into an even more intense higher gear for the song’s chorus and bridge.
There are no extended instrumental breaks really, outside of the song’s introduction, but she’s obviously surrounded herself with a top shelf cadre of musicians well versed in this style. They attack the arrangement in convincing fashion, looking to support Kaleigh’s efforts rather than grab glory for themselves alone, and the guitar work is particularly lively. “Country Class” has a strong rhythm section pushing the song, as well, but never risking a bash and thud mentality and always with a high level of musicality complementing its obvious power.
Her lyrical inventiveness is obvious as well. “Country Class” mines familiar territory, the “opposites attract” sort of love song, but Kaleigh does it with turns of phrase all her own and manages to put a signature feel on the subject matter. The chorus is a highlight, especially punchy and bringing home the song’s “message” with a heightened passion outstripping even the already evocative verses. There isn’t a single word too much or misplaced in Kaleigh’s writing, a clear testament to her innate skill as a writer and the superb education she’s received as an English major at UCLA.
Kaleigh definitely turned heads with her previous single “Twisted // Mistake”, but her new single “Country Class” goes further – it conclusively proves she has ample staying power to build a career in a business that increasingly sees shooting stars flame out and fail to sustain their initial success. Much of this can be attributed to her awesome skill set, but she has a first class team behind her that are positioning her for success in all the right ways. Kaleigh will be around for some time to come and the music world is a better place for it.
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