REVIEW: Caroline Kole’s Debut EP – Money To Me

We have said it before, and we will say it again – Caroline Kole is a soul much older and wiser than her age. You needn’t have a conversation with Caroline to substantiate that statement. You can simply listen to her music, focus on her beautiful vocals, and let the lyrics take you someplace else in order to understand that Caroline is an artist who is years ahead of her time. This EP contains six original tracks, each of which is distinct in sound and story, and allows Caroline to explore different characters, capturing each one seamlessly and effectively.

Caroline’s Money To Me EP is like a throwback to country music before country music started edging its way toward a country/pop crossroad. Envision 1990s/early 2000s Reba McEntire, Faith Hill, Patty Loveless, and Jo Dee Messina … the sound that veteran country music lovers embraced back then and crave today. Caroline, at only sixteen years of age, captured this sound without ever making obvious her youth or the fact that this is her first studio release.

Money To Me begins with the title track, which can best be described as catchy, upbeat, happy, and free. Though the track can be deemed age-appropriate, people of all ages can appreciate the meaning of the song and how it feels to be enriched by the love of another. Caroline encapsulates the importance of the value of a full heart over materialism and does so with clever lyrics, strong vocals, and a maturity that captures all listeners. The bottom line is: anyone who loves someone will be able to relate to the lyrics and will, likewise, love this track.

“If He’d Ever Look Up” is a track for the romantic dreamer in all of us. We each know what it is like to long for someone who doesn’t realize we exist. We have all experienced an infatuation with the person across the room who we sit and think about, just wanting to be noticed. We have all prayed that once we are noticed, a Hollywood romance will blossom, our hearts will flutter, and love at first sight will become real. “If He’d Ever Look Up” is a hopeful track of longing that is, again, reminiscent of country music years ago. We can’t say it enough that there is an unparalleled maturity in Caroline that far exceeds her years.

“Get To You” is another track that shows an esteemed appreciation for the classic country sound. Caroline’s gift for music and vocal prowess is undeniable on this track, as Caroline possesses an uncanny ability to emote, her range effortlessly caressing the octaves. With this track, simplicity seems to be a key component. With each note that passes through Caroline’s lips, the listener feels that this song (and every other song) could be heard live and will flawlessly mimic the quality of this EP.

“When” explores the struggle we all face when we make excuses for why we shouldn’t take a chance. It also identifies others’ doubt in us when we believe in ourselves, despite the possible obstacles in our way. This song exudes a message of hope and confidence. It is about taking the proverbial bull by the horns and grasping on to opportunity when it knocks. Caroline appropriately sings “I may never have this chance again; if not now, when?” This song carries a universal message, which also resonates closely to Caroline’s experiences in the music industry. Caroline’s once in a lifetime opportunity arose at an extremely young age, she recognized the uniqueness of her chance, accepted it, and never looked back.

The fifth track, “Really,” is about the internal tug-of-war everyone experiences at least once, where we question whether the person we love truly echoes that sentiment. We oftentimes wonder if someone else may already be in the picture, or if someone else came along, whether we would be erased and replaced all too easily. Caroline sings about trust issues and insecurity in a way that leads listeners to believe that these are places this young vocalist has visited in her life. With a performance that radiates honesty and vulnerability, it is unquestionable that Caroline understands the mental battle involving the need to move on and bear the present pain to avoid the inevitable future hurt.

The EP concludes with “The Guy I’m Going to Marry;” a track that focuses on the quality of Caroline’s voice with minimal instrumental supplementation. This song emanates innocence and could easily translate into a television show, stage show, or film, as it encompasses a youthful, hopeful, and wide-eyed girl, dreaming about love and describing the ideal man who will win her heart. “The Guy I’m Going to Marry” aptly wraps up this EP with a softness, gentleness, and beauty that only Caroline could emit.

We have found that it is hard to come by an album where each track presents a completely different story and sound from the one before. Enter Caroline Kole, an artist new to the scene who, in our opinion, has the talent, drive, focus, integrity, and ability to change the face of today’s music. With each of the six tracks, you think you have wrapped your head around who Caroline is, and then the next one starts, and you meet an entirely different girl who somehow alters herself while remaining true to who she is. If you are going to invest in any album to start off 2014, this is where you should begin. You will be pleasantly surprised, moved, and eager for what is coming next for this unbelievably talented vocalist. The sky is the limit for Caroline Kole, and this EP is just the mere beginning of a long and successful career for one of country music’s newest talents.

Click here to download your copy of Money To Me, available today!

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