Not An Apology by Bea Miller
Bea Miller’s debut album “Not An Apology”, is quite reminiscent of songs we’ve heard in the past. The music style is mainstream and doesn’t veer into any experimental territory. This by no means should detract from the experience. If anything, it just shows that Miller indeed has the makings of a pop star. Her blueprint is typical but her voice and her execution keep her from being muddled up with her X Factor mentor Demi Lovato.
What really makes Miller’s voice pop is her throaty, raspy tone. This gives her songs a nice splash of attitude. At points we were even reminded of a young Miley Cyrus who’d just found her way out of the Hannah Montana wig, though we would argue that Miller has more power behind her voice.
Subject wise, the songs on “Not An Apology” are slick. The choruses, like that of “Dracula”, are so catchy that you’ll find yourself not being able to sit still. The arrangements of the songs are also familiar but contain enough differences to keep them from being too much like everything else that’s currently out.
Thematically, the songs go over some broad theme that any successful pop album would go over, the main one being to embrace your unique personality in a world that’s trying to make you like one of them. This is all too apparent in her song “I Dare You”, she also recants the sounds older millennials will remember from back in the early 2000’s ala Michelle Branch, but once again Miller’s voice is what keeps you from thinking that you’ve treaded this ground over and over again. Instead, she takes the pop formula and holds it up as a momento, or a tribute to those who came before her, and showing those willing to listen, that she too can contend with the best of them.
Other tracks that stand out are “Rich Kids,” “Paper Doll,” and “We’re Taking Over”. Rich Kids is full of unbridled sassiness, like Hilary Duff’s “So Yesterday,” but with Miller’s signature grit. Paper Doll is formulaic in it symbolism (she’s not as fragile as she seems), but the grittiness of it takes a tiresome trope and makes it an earworm. And with “We’re Taking Over,” though not one of our top favorites on the album, does exude with that energy you’d come to expect from songs like it from the past. It becomes obvious why they picked “Not An Apology” to be the title track once you hear it, as it is perhaps the album’s most aggressive track, which truly emphasizes the fact that Miller is not apologetic.
We would recommend her album to those who enjoy not just fun pop music, but that of pop rock that flirts with dance, but never quite goes to that level. Not that it has to or needs to, because it’s just fine as it is.
After having a listen, let us know what you think of Bea Miller’s debut.