Country

Kelsea Ballerini's 10 Best Songs: Critic's Picks

Kelsea Ballerini
Blossom Berkofsky

Kelsea Ballerini photographed Jan. 12 at Kitschville in Nashville. 

In taking a look at the Kelsea Ballerini song catalog, and ranking her releases so far, one thing is clear -- there are a few album cuts on this list, as she has only had five singles out so far. But, that’s okay. Each performance on this list is evidence of her ability to capture the attention of the listener. Though, this list won’t stay current for long.

Look for several of the tracks from her upcoming disc Unapologetically to make this list -- especially the brilliant “I Hate Love Songs,” which could wind up being her biggest hit ever. (You read that here first, folks!) But, as of today -- these are the 10 best Kelsea songs yet, all showing a talent who is going to be one to watch for years to come!

Best Songs: Alabama | Alan Jackson | Billy Currington | Blake Shelton | Brad Paisley | Brett Eldredge | Carrie Underwood | Chris Stapleton | Conway Twitty | Cole Swindell | Darius Rucker | Dierks Bentley | Dixie Chicks | Dolly Parton | Eric Church | Faith Hill | Garth Brooks | Gary AllanGeorge Jones | George Strait | Glen Campbell | Hank Williams Jr. | Jason Aldean | Johnny Cash | John Denver | Justin Moore | Keith Urban | Kenny Chesney | Kenny Rogers | Lady Antebellum | Little Big TownMartina McBride | Merle Haggard | Miranda Lambert | Patsy Cline | Randy Travis | Rascal Flatts | Reba McEntire | Sam Hunt | Shania Twain | Sheryl Crow | Thomas Rhett | Tim McGraw | Toby Keith | Travis Tritt | Vince Gill | Waylon Jennings | Willie Nelson | Zac Brown Band

10. Kelsea Ballerini - "Square Pegs"

This track from Ballerini’s debut disc made quite the impact with her growing fan base, as it promoted the art of being true to one’s self -- in spite of whatever rules culture set before us. It’s performances like this that have helped to make the singer highly respected among her public as an influence -- something she takes quite seriously.

9. Kelsea Ballerini - "The First Time"

A song about a young woman who realizes that she’s not the priority in her significant other’s life, the title track to her first album remains one of her career highlights to date. The lyrics paint a picture of a person who is wanting more than the relationship she has -- and isn’t willing to compromise to get it.

8. Kelsea Ballerini - "Dibs"

The second Kelsea Ballerini song to hit number one was a fun and flirtatious way to spend the summer of 2015. The production was light and bouncy, and her vocal projected plenty of personality, making this one an instant connection with her growing audience.

7. Kelsea Ballerini - "Yeah Boy"

Before Ballerini put a wrap on the singles from her debut album, she notched her fourth hit from the disc with another hit that was a perfect showcase for her bubbly and vivacious attitude, helping her to become a sure-fire bet to make the eventual jump to the A-list.

6. Jason Aldean feat. Kelsea Ballerini - "First Time Again"

One artist who became aware of Ballerini’s budding talent early on was ACM Entertainer of the Year Jason Aldean, who invited the songstress to add her touch to a track from his latest album They Don’t Know. The song impressed critics and fans in a pretty much unanimous manner, leaving both fan bases wanting more collaborations between the two artists.

5. Kelsea Ballerini - "Looking At Stars"

One of the more romantic highlights of her career so far was this sweetly sentimental number that was one of the emotional centerpieces of her debut album. Record companies can only release so many singles from an album, we get that, but it’s a shame that this song never really got its due -- as it’s one of her best.

4. Kelsea Ballerini - "Unapologetically"

The title cut from Ballerini’s upcoming sophomore album is one that is going to resonate with fans in a big way, thanks to her relationship with and upcoming wedding to Morgan Evans. This song is already causing fans to steadily count down the days until November 3 -- when the album comes out. Fans will find a new level of maturity for the Tennessee native that should keep her soaring career in the fast lane.

3. Kelsea Ballerini - "Legends"

For the latest Kelsea Ballerini song to hit the Top 40 on the Country list, the singer teamed with Hillary Lindsey and co-producer Forest Glen Whitehead for a track that showed her considerable development as a vocalist over the past two years. The singer premiered the track on the CMT Music Awards in June, and it’s nothing but a run to the top for the wistfully emotional track since its release.

2. Kelsea Ballerini - "Peter Pan"

The release of this power ballad in the spring of 2016 represented a marked contrast to the uptempo feel of her first two singles, and country radio responded in kind to the dramatic track. The song’s cause was helped greatly by a stunning video clip, which was directed by Kristin Barlowe. The record also earned her a peak inside the Top 40 on the Pop charts, her highest ranking on that chart -- so far.

1. Kelsea Ballerini - "Love Me Like You Mean It"

Ballerini introduced herself to the musical world with this infectious track that stayed in your head the first time -- and each subsequent time thereafter. The singer and her label, Black River, were patient while watching the song climb the chart. It was released to stations on July 8, 2014 -- and almost a year to the day, the sing-a-long tribute to a new love became a number one hit. In doing so, she became the first female country artist to hit number one with her debut single since Carrie Underwood almost a decade earlier. The song’s performance served as notice onto Nashville that something special was going to happen -- and that continues to be the case!