Two fun tracks kick off the EP, the title track "Retrospect" and "Livin' Large." These tracks have the most pop influence, and they seem made for country radio. The former song talks about getting out of the modern relationship rut and using inspiration from older times to improve a current relationship. The following track is full of summer-themed lyrics like "I'm livin' large, in the mini," and "I'm queen of the road." The reason this song is so cute is that it can connect to everyone, but also it speaks of keeping the kids in the backseat entertained. There's a definite fear of alientating young listeners in country music today, as those are the ones who listen to the radio the most, but even though this song is about the life of a family, it's a great song for anyone to jam to.
"Ken & Barbie" is a refreshing and witty take on modern-day marriages. More than 50% of marriages end in divorce, making most relationships complicated to say the least. But on country radio and mainstream music, marriage is portrayed as this perfect thing, something that is the ultimate goal, and then is easy and conflictless from saying "I do" to death. Hadley Park is able to incorporate the sad truths of modern relationships into the funny song about a marriage in 2016, and in any time ready. It's not "postcard pretty," the duo says. "Behind every fairytale, there's couple's therapy."
Hadley Park have done something that no mainstream artist today seems to be able to effectively do: they talk about their life in real terms, but still have music that appeals to all ages. They introduce a new perspective on life with this EP, one that country music right now could really benefit from.
Best tracks: Ken & Barbie, Things I've Learned
Throwaway tracks: Another Bottle of Wine
Overall rating: 4 crowns