The First Time

The First Time

Kelsea Ballerini knows exactly what she wants in a relationship: no wimps. Opener "XO" calls out a guy who can't get over his ex, then "Peter Pan" does the same with one who refuses to grow up. Both songs skip through sparkling country-pop arrangements, seamlessly layering banjo licks with rock guitars and laptop effects. The combination is contemporary, not disruptive, and she revels in it on the effervescent "Love Me Like You Mean It," a skittering, hook-filled kiss-off to another doofus who can't commit. She deserves better.

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