Chloe Collins – 5@15

by Frank Xavier

chloe-collins_5at15You must give the debut Chloe Collins record “5@15” a listen. Five catchy, melodic songs by a 15 year old singer/songwriter who writes with the perceptive observation skills of someone twice her age. Unlike most hit songs these days which are written by committee and then processed and sanitized by big record business conglomerates, Chloe’s songs are written by her alone and are pure and unadulterated by such corporate dilution. This record was recorded in Nashville with Collins doing all the vocals and playing guitar, and was programmed by producer Mikey Reaves with additional guitars by Reaves and Taylor Ivey. Together they make a very enjoyable and refreshing modern country pop sound that would seem to be ripe for massive commercial radio play.

The opener “All Over Again” is a radio-ready, up-tempo gem that reminisces about those relationships that we regret on some levels but would, if we could “rewind back to that time”, do over and over again. It segues perfectly into “Rearview Mirror” a shimmery guitar ballad that talks about teenage displacement and the difficulty of living in a small town once you realize you no longer fit in. The sadness of the song, and its subliminal anti-bullying theme, is counter-balanced by the optimism of the singer picturing herself packing her backs and moving beyond the small town life.¬† Next comes the rollicking “Forget Your Name”, a modern, youthful take on the age-old “gonna wash that man right outta my hair” theme of doing whatever it takes to completely leave any memory of that past relationship behind.

The lyrics are poetic and heartfelt with modern references like “ignoring friends who blew up my phone” aimed at a youthful audience balanced against lines like “we had a love like June and Johnny” which adds additional context for a true country music history fan of any age. The least produced but maybe the most emotionally mature song is “My Goodbye” which starts with a single acoustic guitar strummed stridently by Collins accompanying her solitary lilting vocal melody. The song evolves into a profound statement about the emotional confusion that regret can engender when looking back at a relationship.

As with all the songs on this record, this one also has a killer earworm of a hook that I cannot get out of my head. The record closes with “New Nightmares” a playful rocker about cutting loose and raising a little hell around town with every part of the song a catchy hook of its own.

Most importantly, all of these songs are catchy and will certainly resonate with young country music fans. This “5@15” is a fun listen, and all of these songs speak to a new generation of young music listeners who have not had a singer-songwriter to address their issues and call their own – until now. Mark my words, I predict a great future for Chloe Collins.

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