Saturday Music: Rachel Platten

Today, I’m reviewing Rachel Platten’s Fight Song EP.

The backstory: I first heard the titular track, Fight Song, on Pretty Little Liars. I was quickly hooked, because at the time I was going through the Job Hunt of 2015. I’m sure you can imagine why such a song would appeal.

The EP: First up is Congratulations. It’s not at all a happy, sweet song. It’s bitter and… raw, I think is the best word. It balances the fine line of being emotional without being overwrought. To me it’s about strength, the strength of knowing that someone else is winning at hurting you and still you’re getting up the strength to cut them from your life. I think this would appeal to a lot of people – there are always going to be toxic people in the world, and sometimes you have to cut them loose.

I love how this song isn’t what I expected at first – such a title led me to expect something, well, congratulatory. Upbeat. There’s a neat contradiction here, and it’s like a little surprise.

Next is Beating Me Up. The first beats are quiet, progressing to something more until there’s a burst of energy. It follows in a similar vein to Congratulations, a tale, I think, of slow-going healing and moving on. The narrator identifies how she’d be better off without the person she’s addressing; it’s her heart that is beating her up.

Again, there’s emotion – still on that fine line, and there’s enough of an edge to Platten’s vocals that it isn’t pure fluff. The song is catchy overall, and the vocals complement the beat nicely.

Third is Lone Ranger. I identified with it purely from the title, being a bit of a solo flier. The song is a bit faster-paced, so I personally had to work a bit more to listen to it fully. This does not, in my opinion, detract from it – it adds to it. Sometimes you have to concentrate more to appreciate something, and that is the case here. The fast pace made me want to get up and dance.

There’s a lot of relatability to this. In this case, being a lone ranger is in the name of protecting yourself – protecting your heart. I think that’s something a lot of people would understand.

Lastly, there’s the eponymous Fight Song. As I already said, I was hooked from the first play, because goddamnit, I could relate. If you are doubting yourself, if you have big goals or someone else is doubting you – this is for you. I would go to job interviews and play this song on the way, multiple times: on the bus, walking to the building, leaving.

It’s a close call, but Fight Song is the standout for me – purely because of the way I understood it, because it was motivating when I was doom-and-gloom about interviews. It was the song that picked me up, dusted me off and sent me on my way.

This is the song that tells you Platten knows what it’s like, knows how to keep going when the chips are down.

Platten brings consistent energy throughout the EP: an explosion of music, timed for emphasis, and tracks that make you want to get up and dance.

Here on YouTube and available on iTunes.

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