Bradbery quickly shows off her pop prowess on the Thomas Rhett co-penned “What Are We Doing.” The repetitive chorus and intro sound a bit like an early 2000’s pop song, drawing comparisons to JoJo, an artist Bradbery has expressed admiration for. But the lyrics are strong. It’s clever and catchy, everything a pop song should be. “Messy” is another standout, with its pop-country hook appealing to any person who’s ever been in a complicated relationship.
While the writing is very strong across the board on this album, sometimes it falls flat. Usually specificity is good, but in “Red Wine + White Couch,” it doesn’t work. The line “So stupid, like I’m shaving with the lights out” leaves the listener with questions, and the odd line comes off as lazy rather than unique. The intensely electronic production does nothing to help the weakness of the track. This song feels like a filler, a track made to shock people by its blatantly pop production rather than a meaningful placement of a song like the rest of the tracks on the record.
Looking at her path as an artist, it is a shame that Bradbery’s label curated her debut album for her. She was only sixteen, fresh off a reality show, and most sixteen year olds aren’t as precocious or assertive as Taylor Swift was, but listening to this album, it’s obvious that Danielle Bradbery, despite being named after her, was not a full representation of the Danielle Bradbery we’ve now become acquainted with. I Don’t Believe We’ve Met is not necessarily a country album or a perfect album for that matter, but it is an impressive remaking of a career, all done by Bradbery herself. That’s something to appreciate and talk about.
Best tracks: “What Are We Doing,” “Worth It,” “Human Diary,” “Potential”
Throwaway tracks: “Red Wine + White Couch,” “Can’t Stay Mad”
Overall rating: 3 ½ crowns